The Bradford-based building society saw profits fall to £167.2m from 2018’s £192.5m, despite a growth of core operating profit to £184.6m.
Speaking to The Yorkshire Post, chief executive Mike Regnier, inset, said that the latter figure was a better measure of the overall health of the business.
He pointed also to a large increase in YBS’s customer satisfaction rates, having posted a 10-point increase in its Net Promoter Score to 51, as well as £1bn in growth of both mortgages and savings.
The society also estimates it supported more than 49,000 people into a home during 2019 through financing more than 33,000 residential and buy-to-let house purchase mortgages, lending to registered providers of social housing and via its work with End Youth Homelessness (EYH).
Mr Regnier said: “The most important thing is that we keep our focus on what we are here to do, which is to help people achieve the financial goals in life.
“We helped an extra 84,000 people improve their financial wellbeing with financial education.
“We improved our core operating profit in a competitive market which I think is a more important measure in terms of reflecting the overall health of the business.
“The increase in customer satisfaction comes as a result of a lot of hard work by all of our colleagues, supported by investment in improving our services and launching new products specifically designed to help our customers.
“As a mutual, keeping costs down is a key focus for us. Using members’ money wisely and ensuring that we are focused on our core mortgage and savings business enables us to deliver against our purpose of providing real help with real lives.”
Mr Regnier added that the building society sector had been growing its market share and that he hoped this would continue into 2020.