Yorkshire Building Society loaned a record amount of money to its customers in 2018 and enjoyed a 16 per cent upswing in profits.
The Bradford-based firm made £192.5m last year, up from £165.8m in 2017 while its core operating profit increased by 13 per cent to £180.8m from 2017’s £160.2m.
The society financed more than 36,000 mortgages, increasing gross lending by 10 per cent to a record £8.9bn and net lending by 60 per cent to £1.6bn.
A total of 197,000 new accounts were opened and savings balances increased to £29.6bn. Liquid assets stand at £5.5bn, down from £6.1bn in 2017, with a liquidity ratio of 13.9 per cent, remaining above regulatory requirements.
The society also dramatically reduced its costs in 2018, down £29m to £311m, something bosses said formed part of the business’s plan to operate more efficiently.
Chief executive Mike Regnier told The Yorkshire Post: “I am very pleased with what we have seen this year.
The landscape is very competitive but I guess we have done a few things right.Chief executive Mike Regnier
“We managed to grow our profit 16 per cent year-on-year whilst also reducing our cost base by £29m.
“That has been a really big focus for us in terms of becoming more efficient.
“We managed to grow our outstanding mortgage balances and gross lending and of course recorded our highest ever amount of lending.
“The landscape is very competitive but I guess we have done a few things right.”
Mr Regnier said that he and his team were pleased to have kept its Net Promoter Score, a measure of customer satisfaction rates, at the same high level as the year prior.
Going forward, the society boss sought to assure customers that the business would remain strong in the face of any economic uncertainty that may result from Britain’s departure from the European Union.
“It is very uncertain,” he said.
“I am not going to make any predictions as they are not going to be any better than anyone else’s.
“But I can reassure customers that, irrespective of what is happening in the world out there, that we will continue to provide them with a safe haven, whatever happens with the outcome of Brexit.
“We are lucky in that we are a UK business. We do not import or export goods.”
In a week in which both Leeds and Skipton Building Societies reported healthy profits, Mr Regnier said that the sector was enjoying a decent period.
“It looks to have had another good year,” he said.
“It is very robust and seems to be sustainable.”
Mr Regnier said that Yorkshire Building Society enabled 12,500 customers to apply for and complete their remortgages online, something the firm said was saving customers time and reducing paper.
It also introduced a Help to Buy ISA mortgage, which offers preferential interest rates to first-time buyers who saved using a Help to Buy ISA account.
“All of the money we make is either used to help our members, through higher than average savings rates, more flexible products and improved services, or kept within the Society to make us financially stronger and more resilient,” said Mr Regnier.
“Our year-on-year reduction in operating costs, along with improvement in the management expense ratio, shows that we’re becoming more efficient and giving our members better value for money.”
Last year also saw Yorkshire Building Society complete its brand consolidation programme, transferring more than 570,000 Norwich & Peterborough Building Society savings customers to the Yorkshire Building Society brand.
The move means customers can now reach a branch network present in more than 240 towns and cities.