Skipton savings balances up 6% to £21bn

Skipton Building Society said its savings balances grew 6% to £21 billion in the first half of 2022, with pre-tax profit for the period edging higher to £160 million from £159.2 million in the same period of 2021.

Skipton is the UK’s fourth largest building society and is parent organisation of Connells group, the UK’s largest estate agency.

The mutual’s mortgages and savings division grew pre-tax profits £41.4 million to £128.3 million “due principally to increases in net interest income and improved interest margins.”

May 2022 was the society’s highest ever month for mortgage applications at £1.1 billion — and the group’s mortgage portfolio grew 3.1% in the period to reach £24 billion.

Skipton interim group chief executive Ian Cornelius said: “I’m acutely conscious our strong performance comes at a time when household finances are under significant strain.

“The current economic environment for our members and colleagues is understandably causing concern.

“Our role at Skipton is to help people navigate these challenging times, and it’s very pleasing to see our competitive offering and first-rate service have enabled us in recent months to help more people than ever before.

“As a mutual, we’re accountable to our members, not shareholders. Our priority will always be the long-term sustainability of our business, not short-term profit maximisation.

“So it is a relatively straightforward decision that we take to reinvest profits into the business for the benefit of everyone – our customers, our colleagues and our communities.

“We seek to invest purposefully, from strengthening our IT, digital and data platforms, through to reimagining how we attract and retain talent, to ensure we are fit for the future.

“And that goes for our green ambitions too, with increased investment to deliver our transition to net zero and support our customers to live in greener and more efficient homes.

“These results for the first half of 2022, including the excellent growth achieved in both mortgages and savings, are the result of the great work by colleagues across the Society and their unwavering focus on helping our members at every life stage by offering great value, great service and a strong proposition that meets their needs.

“Public and personal finances have rarely been under such pressure as they are today. Whilst faced with significant uncertainties, Skipton is in a robust position to meet the challenges ahead.

“The trust our customers and colleagues place in us to do the right thing by them will never be taken for granted. We will continue to do everything we can to support them and their families in these extraordinary times.”