More first-time buyers join Leeds Building Society as region sets £2.5bn lending record
Continuing to break records for helping thousands more people into homes was key to Leeds Building Society’s strong performance in the first half of this year, according to its CEO.
Reporting interim results for H1 2022, Richard Fearon said the mutual had built on the “exceptional performance” of 2021 with gross lending climbing to £2.5bn (£2.0bn June 30, 2021) and net lending rising to £1.2bn (£0.6bn 30 June 2021), both record half-year amounts for the Society.
Nine of its 10 biggest lending days ever occurred during the first six months of this year leading to its highest number of completions in the first-half of a year. Total membership grew to 815,000, including the 9,000 new members who chose the Society when deciding to buy their first home.
Lending growth was supported by a corresponding rise in savings balances, with the increase topping £1bn, taking total savings balances to £16.4bn (£15.25bn December 31, 2021).
Richard commented: “I’m delighted we’ve delivered a record breaking first half of the year, achieved a series of landmarks across our lending and supported savers at a critical time,” said Richard.
“Being mindful of our roots as a mutual, we’ve reaffirmed our purpose, to put home ownership within reach of more people, and future generations of first-time buyers are integral to our plans.
“To successfully deliver on that purpose means ensuring we offer a competitive savings range. We’ve consistently paid above the market average rate, which equates to an extra £66m in our savings members’ pockets, and our fixed rate products have been a notable strength, appealing to new and existing savers alike.
“The value that we give to savers is especially important during a cost of living crisis, and we have also been considerate of the challenges facing our borrowers too.
“While the Bank of England’s Base Rate increased four times during the first half of the year, we raised our variable savings rates on each occasion but only raised our standard variable mortgage rate (SVR) once.
“I’m proud we were able to attract so many new members but acknowledge the elevated demand for our savings products led to some long waiting times for callers. We didn’t always meet the high standards of service we strive for but I’m pleased that we’ve taken steps to address this and the situation has now returned to normal.”
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