Skipton Building Society in ‘robust health’ as membership increases

Craven Herald: SBS chief executive David Cutter SBS chief executive David Cutter

Skipton Building Society had a “great” 2013 and is in robust health after recent difficult times, chief executive David Cutter has announced.

The group had seen a growth in the number of members by 21,046 to 63,407, pre-tax profits has nearly trebled and mortgage lending and savings continued to grow.

Overall, pre-tax profits had grown by £67 million, from £35.4 million to £102.5 million, which reflected the significant improvement throughout the organisation.

Mr Cutter said: “We delivered strong profits and further strengthened our capital and the society is now in robust health after a difficult trading environment in recent years.

“We are ever mindful of the impact of the low interest rate environment on savers but the society’s competitiveness is demonstrated by a strong growth in retail balances.”

There were still uncertainties in the economy but he believed the organisation was well positioned to face them.

The annual report highlighted the success of the My Review scheme, a free financial service which helped 26,300 people deal with their financial needs.

The year also saw two important areas of investment.

The first was a programme which sought feedback from members on how they were dealt with by SBS which, in 2013, was positioned fourth out of 42 financial services providers, out performing all the major banks.

The second was an investment in developing the leadership and listening skills of staff.

Homeloan Management Ltd, SBS’s mortgage services division, saw a pre-tax profit growth of 12.5 per cent to £900,000 in a “subdued” marketplace.

Andrew Jones, chief executive officer at HML, said: “I am delighted that we have increased our profit for 2013, which comes amid a relatively flat market. Last year was a successful one for HML, with many highlights. These included celebrating 25 years in the third-party financial administration sector and receiving outstanding ratings from both Fitch and S&P. Our UK residential primary (sub-prime) rating by Fitch is the highest in Europe and our prime rating is the equal highest rating of any servicer in the world.”

Meanwhile SBS continued to invest in local people through its Grassroots Giving appeal. It also supported the Skipton-based orchestra, Skipton Building Society Camerata, and donated £120,000 to its charitable foundation.

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