Leeds Building Society: Savings balance soars

RECORD level of savings balances have helped Leeds Building Society deliver a 13 per cent increase in profits for the first half.

The UK’s fifth-largest mutual said pre-tax profits for the six months to 30 June hit £30.6 million, up from £27.1m a year earlier, as its savings book grew by £521m to a record £8.3 billion.

Chief executive Peter Hill said membership at the society also hit a record, up 39,000 during the period to 703,000, while net residential mortgage lending rose 26 per cent to £423m. The bulk of the mutual’s lending is backed by its savings book, with its wholesale funding ratio falling to 17.4 per cent, from 19 per cent a year ago, although it has also drawn £250m for the Bank of England’s Funding for Lending scheme, which offers cheap funds on the condition that they are passed on to customers.

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Hill added: “Leeds has again proven its ability to grow its lending, attract savings balances and increase its membership.

“This means that we are in an excellent position to increase new lending significantly in 2013 and beyond.”