Leeds Building Society is set to create 50 new jobs this year after revealing a record performance in its mortgage and savings markets, with membership numbers at the highest in its history.
New mortgage lending increased by 35 per cent year-on-year to £1.65bn in its 2012 financial year, which chief executive Peter Hill said was “significantly above our market share”.
Net residential lending was up to £737m from £300m the year before and the society attracted 61,000 new members, taking total membership to a record 696,000. Meanwhile, savings balances grew by £384m to £7.74bn in 2012.
Mr Hill, who was appointed chief executive in August 2011, said: “Probably the thing that we’re most pleased with is that in what has been a fairly difficult and flat mortgage market we’ve grown our new mortgage lending by 35 per cent.” He said that £497m of its new lending, almost 30 per cent, has helped 5,700 first-time-buyers onto the housing ladder.
Mr Hill said that the society created 30 new jobs 2012 and in 2011, and expects to create 50 new jobs this year, the majority of which will be at its head office in Leeds. Leeds Building Society employs around 950 people in total, approximately 500 of which are based in the Leeds and Yorkshire areas. Seventeen of its 65 UK branches are in the LS postcode.
Mr Hill added: “I am also delighted that assets and membership numbers are the highest in our history and capital and reserves are at record levels.” Assets increased by 5 per cent to a record £10.32bn, while pre-tax profits rose by 4 per cent to £52.4m. Capital and reserves increased by 7 per cent to £614m.
Leeds Building Society, which has operated from the centre of Leeds since 1886, was one of the first institutions to sign up to the Bank of England’s new Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS). The scheme, which opened at the start of August 2012, offers banks cheap finance if they in turn lend on to households and businesses.
During 2012, the society said it continued to access to diverse forms of funding, raising £375m in the long-term wholesale market and drawing down £200m from the FLS.