Independent East Yorkshire mutual Beverley Building Society achieved record growth in 2012 despite continued turmoil in the financial sector.
The society saw a seven per cent rise in its mortgage book, up from £122m to £131m, and a £3m increase in savers’ deposits to £164.6m in the 12 months to December 2012.
Net profit grew for the third year in succession last year, up 35 per cent from £152,000 in 2011 to £206,000, and general reserves continued to rise steadily for the fifth year in a row to reach £8.5m.The performance produced an overall balance sheet growth of 3.36 per cent, increasing assets to £179.5m from £174m in 2011.
Beverley Building Society Chief Executive Peter Myers said the business had achieved success against the backdrop of challenging economic conditions by offering easily-understood financial products and focusing on customer service and community engagement.
At the end of 2011 we set out a three year strategy to protect Beverley Building Society’s position as East Yorkshire’s only independent mutual and develop the business in line with the principals on which we were founded – to look after people’s savings and help them buy homes.
The first year of the strategy has been a great success; we have seen growth across all areas of the business because we offer straightforward products and services that are easy to understand and no confusing special offers.
People also recognise the fact we are a mutual with no shareholders to satisfy and that we don’t pay ourselves bonuses, so in an era when trust in high street lenders is at an all-time low we are able to show people there is a safer, local alternative for managing your money.
Mr Myers added the prevalent economic conditions in Europe and the UK, as well as increased regulation and the Bank of England’s Funding for Lending Scheme, had impacted on market conditions and the society’s cost base.
He said this meant the business would continue to take a cautious approach to liquidity and the society’s mortgage book would remain entirely funded by savers’ deposits.
He added the society’s success had also resulted from a continued programme of staff development that reached across all levels of employees. The business is currently on the lookout for a new non-executive director to strengthen its board, and now more than half of its employees are CEMAP-qualified.
Beverley Building Society has also implemented a drive to increase the number of young people it employs and has recently offered permanent contracts to an apprentice and two graduate interns.
Mr Myers said:
We want to refresh the image of the mutual sector. Bringing in young people is way to achieve this so not only have we started offering apprenticeships and internships, we have formed a partnership with Hull University Business School and are also supporting the National Citizen Service.
Beverley Building Society will hold its AGM on April 25th at Browns Department Store in Beverley. Anyone interested in finding out more about how the organisation operates is welcome to attend.