Nationwide boss Beale to retire as profits jump at mutual

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Nationwide, the UK’s largest building society, saw a 54 per cent jump in profits to £1bn last year.

Underlying profit climbed 32 per cent to £1.2bn, as the mutual saw member deposits increase by £1.9bn in the 12 months to April 4.

The building society also regained the number two position in the mortgage market, despite seeing a fall in lending from 2014’s figures.

Net lending figures fell £2.2bn to £7.1bn, accounting for almost a third of the UK market. Gross lending was down £1bn to £27.1bn, a market share of 13.4 per cent.

Its market share of main and standard packaged accounts rose to 6.8 per cent.

Nationwide chief executive Graham Beale said the figures were “one of the strongest sets of results” the organisation has reported.

He said: “We will continue to do all that you would expect of the UK’s largest mutual; leading the way in setting standards and being an exemplar organisation.

“In short, we will do the right thing for our members, standing out as the only truly national alternative to the established banks.”

Mr Beale also announced his intention to retire as Nationwide’s chief executive.

He said: “Nationwide is in great shape and is demonstrating how a mutual building society can make a real and refreshing difference in the financial services sector.

“Succession of leadership is best dealt with from a position of strength and hence the time has come for the Society to identify and appoint its next chief executive.”

By summer 2016, Mr Beale will have spent nine years at the helm of the organisation, and 13 years on its board. A search is now underway for his successor.