The Yorkshire to invest £160m as profits rise

YORKSHIRE Building Society said more bank customers are switching to mutuals in the wake of the recent banking scandals.

The UK’s second-largest building society unveiled a £160m five-year investment programme this morning to improve its products and services and drive future growth

The Yorkshire said 2012 pre-tax profits rose 21 per cent to £157.1m following an increase in new lending and its ability to attract more savers.

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The mutual reported customer satisfaction levels of between 88 per cent and 92 per cent.

The Yorkshire’s chief executive Chris Pilling said: “I am delighted with the whole group’s solid performance in my first full year as chief executive.

“In 2008, the Yorkshire reported that it was well placed to emerge stronger from the economic crisis that was developing.

“Our latest financial results show that this is exactly what we have done – our core operating profit remains very strong and gives the group the opportunity to invest significantly as we balance profits with delivering value to our customers.

The £160m investment will improve back-office infrastructure and staff development and enable the society to meet customers’ needs “more quickly

and robustly”.

“Ultimately, this investment will support our commitment to our members and further contrast the Yorkshire with the many financial services providers which have scaled back lending, closed branches or walked away from providing face-to-face financial advice,” said Mr Pilling.

“These remain tough times for borrowers and, in particular, savers who have to contend with record-low interest rates. In the past few years, the financial sector has been undermined by a series of incredibly serious errors of judgement by the big banks which have left customers questioning who they do business with.

“As a mutual building society, answerable to our members and not external shareholders, we can be proud that we work to a different set of values which have trust at the core.”