Yorkshire Building Society mortgages hit £42bn

Bradford-based Yorkshire Building Society said its mortgage balances in 2021 increased 8% to £41.9 billion, the highest in its history.

Throughout the year the mutual society provided 75,732 mortgages and a total of £10.3 billion, of which 36% was to first-time buyers.

The UK’s third largest building society said its saving balances increased to a record £35.5 billion.

Yorkshire said its statutory profit before tax rose 98% to £320 million and core operating profit rose 74% to £297.3  million.

Common Equity Tier 1 ratio increased to 16.8%.

Yorkshire has assets of £52.7 billion and nearly three million customers.

Yorkshire’s interim CEO Stephen White said: “I am delighted to report that in a challenging year for the economy when many members and customers have faced very difficult circumstances we have been able to help more people with their key financial needs than ever before.

“Our mutual model has helped us to deliver record savings and mortgage balances allowing us to both increase our savings rates and help a record number of first-time buyers.

“The strength of our mortgage book has helped us to support borrowers facing serious financial difficulty and, at a time of rising house prices, release some of our provisions.

“At the same time, the ongoing work to improve the efficiency of the society and reduce cost alongside good commercial judgments and disciplines has meant that core operating profit increased to £297.3m, allowing us in turn to increase our capital and reserves and reinvest for the long term.

“All of this has only been possible because of the hard work and dedication of our highly engaged colleagues and I’m extremely proud and grateful to each and every one of them.

“They have worked tirelessly in 2021 to meet every challenge and support our customers and their resilience has once again been outstanding.

“Our role as a mutual is to deliver real help with real life and help people find a place to call home by providing mortgages, funded by our members’ savings.

“I’m particularly pleased that 2021 was a record year in terms of our support for first-time buyers, who are less well served by the wider market.

“Supporting our savers at a time of historically low interest rates has been a key commitment of ours and while the Bank of England increased base rate to 0.25% in December last year, the first increase since August 2018, 2021 was another tough year for savers.

“To deliver value to members and ensure we share our success, we further increased our rates above the rest of the market average and rewarded our loyal members.

“I am also very proud to report that our deep-seated conviction to engage with and support the communities we serve has continued and developed to ensure we further support those people facing challenges around skills, employment, financial education and wellbeing.”