Half year profits rise for The West Brom
The West Bromwich Building Society has reported pre-tax profits up 24 per cent to £18.1 million for the six months to the end of September.
Savers have been rewarded with rates that were on average, by the end of the period, some two-and-a-half times the average rates paid by the market –equivalent to a member benefit of £25.5m.
New lending applications were up from £542m a year before to £609m with completions of £276m reflecting market conditions including delays in borrowers drawing down mortgages.
The increased profit was driven by higher net interest income, fair value gains and revaluation gains on investment properties, which more than offsets higher impairment of loans and advances.
The West Brom, founded in 1849 and the UK's seventh largest building society, also provided cost of living support to staffs with a one-off payment of £1,200 for more than 430 people.
Chief executive Jonathan Westhoff, Chief Executive, commented: “It’s pleasing to report a strong half-year performance as we continue to navigate through a challenging external environment.
"The pressures on the cost of living, especially the rising cost of essential goods such as food and energy, have moved from a forecast to a reality across the period, and we are focused on supporting our members where we can. This means that as interest rates increase towards levels not experienced for well over a decade, we have striven to mitigate the impact on borrowing members, whilst passing on the benefit to our saving members.
"With there being no real indication of the situation easing in the near term, we will ensure we remain alert to where even further support may be necessary, for example for any borrowers who encounter temporary challenges in meeting their repayments."
Mr Westhoff said that 68 per cent of all home purchase lending was to those buying their first home.
"For our saving members, who provide the funds that enable us to deliver on our home ownership objective, we have used the rising interest rate environment to improve their returns," added Mr Westhoff.