Assets boost for building society

The Ipswich Building Society today announced increases for both profits and assets during 2010 despite another challenging year for the financial services industry.

The society achieved a profit of �494,000 for the 12 months to November 30, up from �384,000 the previous year.

And total assets at the year-end advanced to �500.7million, up 8.3% from �462.4m a year earlier.

In a statement sent to society members, chairman Mark Sargeantson said: “Although in 2010 the UK technically came out of recession, with the national economy growing once again, albeit modestly, it was still a very difficult year for all sectors of business, not least financial services.

“The impact of sustained low interest rates and a largely stagnant housing market have again impacted on levels of profitability and growth across the financial services industry.

“Building Societies have not been immune to these pressures. It is pleasing to report therefore than the society has once again grown its balance sheet.”

Mr Sargeantson said the increase was funded entirely by the society’s success in attracting money from savers, with its use of wholesale funding further reduced during the year.

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“Net receipts from investors in the year totalled �75m. This is by some way a record despite the strong competition in the market for retail savings,” he said.

Despite a lower level of activity in the housing market, amid fluctuating property prices which rose during the first half of the year before falling back to to their starting point by the year end, the society also saw its mortgage balances grow by more than �34m or 10.3% he added.