Nationwide profits surge to £332m

Nationwide building society has posted a surge in profits after Britain’s booming housing market saw it notch up its highest half-year mortgage lending for five years.

The customer-owned group said new mortgage lending leapt 37 per cent to £14bn in the six months to September 30, meaning £13.2m was lent every working hour as Government initiatives such as Help to Buy fuel a housing market revival.

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A rush of customers switching their current accounts to the mutual also helped drive a robust first-half performance, with underlying operating profits up 155 per cent to £332m.

Nationwide said it opened more than 214,000 new current accounts and saw 54,000 customers switch to the group.