Strong first half for Nationwide Building Society amid boom in lending

Nationwide Building Society has reported a 34% increase in pre-tax profits.

Nationwide Building Society has reported a 34% increase in pre-tax profits. - Credit: PA

Nationwide, the UK’s largest building society, has posted a 34% increase in first half profits after benefiting from the continued boom in mortgage lending.

The society, which as a “mutual” is effectively owned by its members, said that pre-tax profits for the six months to the end of September totalled £802million, up from £598m for the same period last year.

It was helped by a £1.8billion (14%) increase in its residential mortgage lending, taking the total amount lent to customers to a record £14.9bn.

Earlier this week, the Council of Mortgage Lenders revealed that borrowing by British homeowners had reached its highest level since 2008.

Graham Beale, Nationwide’s outgoing chief executive, said the society had also increased savings balances by £2.6bn and opened more than a quarter of a million new personal current accounts.

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“This has been our best ever half-year of mortgage lending, along with a strong inflow of savings and the opening of over a quarter of a million new current accounts,” said Mr Beale.

“Our first-half performance reflects the growing strength and security of the society, with all of our core product areas delivering standout results.”

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Mr Beale announced his intention to leave Nationwide earlier this year. The society revealed earlier this week that he will be suceeded by Joe Garner, currently chief executive of BT Openreach.

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