Norwich & Peterborough owner reports increased profits and lending

THE Yorkshire Building Society, which last year merged with the Norwich & Peterborough society, today reported increased profits and activity for 2011.

The Yorkshire, the UK’s second biggest building society, said its core operating profit increased by 27% compared with 2010, from �128.5million to �163.2m.

Member savings balances grew by more than 20%, from �21.4billion to �26.0bn, while mortgage balances increased by 14%, from �23.3bn to �26.7bn.

Total assets advanced by 9%, from �30.1bn to �32.6bn, while the society’s management expense ratio was held virtually flat at 0.67% against 0.66%.

The N&P merger helped membership of the society grow by 27%, to more than 3.3million, and new lending increased by 46% to �4.1bn.

Besides the merger with the Norwich & Peterborough, which took effect on November 1 following approval by members of both societies in a ballot during the summer, the Yorkshire also acquired the savings and mortgage business of Egg Banking last year, and completed the integration of the Chelsea Building Society, with which it merged in 2010.

Chief executive Chris Pilling said: “The society’s focus throughout 2011 has been on providing good, long-term value to both our savers and borrowers.

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“Throughout the global financial crisis, the society has ensured that the focus has been on protecting savers as far as possible from historically low interest rates and continuing to lend to borrowers looking to get on to the property ladder, whilst demonstrating forbearance to those who are struggling with repayments.

“I am delighted that throughout 2011, the society has been able to offer savers in around 90% of our variable rate accounts a rate greater than the Bank of England base rate and has enabled 5,475 first-time buyers to get on to the property ladder.

“As a building society, these achievements are very important to us.”