Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Building Society Sees Operating Profits Rise

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Building Society Sees Operating Profits Rise

Article excerpt

Byline: GRAEME WHITFIELD Business editor graeme.whitfield@reachplc.com @Graemewhitffield

NEWCASTLE Building Society has signalled a move into business banking after reporting a big rise in operating profit in the first half of the year.

The society saw operating profit before provisions for liabilities, charges and oneoff items increase by 16% to PS7.2m said a "robust" six months had seen healthy lending volumes, more new savers and increased activity at its financial advice business.

It has seen numbers of mortgages for self-employed people double, reflecting changes in employment trends in wider society, as well as helping 500 first time buyers get on the housing ladder.

The society saw gross lending fall when compared to the first half of 2017 but chief executive Andrew Haigh said levels were in line with expectations and likely to reach similar fullyear levels by the end of 2018.

He also said the building society was to launch a savings account for SMEs as part of its mission to improve service for customers in the North East.

He added: "For over 150 years Newcastle Building Society has been connecting communities in the North East with a better financial future. This is our purpose as a building society and our members can rely on us to help them save and plan their finances, buy their own home, make positive changes to our local communities and of course be a great place for colleagues to work and develop.

"In the first half of 2018 we have made great progress, with growth in lending, more new savers and increased levels of financial advice business. In terms of financial performance we are reporting increased profits from ongoing operations, strong capital ratios, a robust liquidity position and low levels of arrears, reflecting the excellent credit quality of our residential mortgage book.

"I am delighted that we have been able to improve operating profitability at a time when we continue to invest in our branch network, our community and our people. …

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