Yorkshire Building Society boosted lending to first-time buyers by 45% over the course of 2016, lending some £1.3bn to first-time homeowners.
The society grew both mortgages and savings balances. Overall gross lending was £7.2bn and net lending £0.7bn, with a profit before tax of £152m.
Mike Regnier, chief executive at the society, said: “I’m proud that we’ve helped first-time buyers to take their first steps on to the property ladder 6,400 times this year, and we increased gross mortgage lending overall.”
The society completed 27,229 mortgages and improved their mortgage underwriting services over the course of 2016, reducing mortgage offer times from 16 to 11 days.
Regnier added: “Throughout 2016, we’ve continued to invest in the business to improve the service and value we provide to our customers.
“This has included helping borrowers who may find it less straight-forward to access a traditional mortgage, including self-employed customers and single parents, by taking a principle-based, common-sense approach to lending.
“These improvements have also helped support our intermediary lending through Accord Mortgages, which achieved significant enhancements in service including reducing average application to offer times by five days.
“This has resulted in materially increased broker satisfaction.”
The society improved its capital position with its common equity tier one capital ratio rising 0.4% to 14.9% and an increased leverage ratio to 5.1%.
Mike Regnier, chief executive at the society, said: “Against the backdrop of an extremely competitive market, I am very pleased we have once again delivered robust and sustainable growth in line with our plans.
“As a mutual organisation, we’ve successfully achieved our primary responsibility of generating a sustainable level of profit and maintaining our financial security through strengthened capital, leverage and liquidity positions.”
The society chose to forgo some of its potential profit in order to enhance rates offered to savers after the reduced bank rates.
Regnier said: “We expect the market to remain increasingly competitive this year but we are in an excellent position to make the most of the opportunities presented by this environment.
“Our strategy is to continue to prioritise delivering good long-term value to our membership and maintaining a strong and sustainable business for the future.
“We will do this by focusing on our core business areas of helping people save for their futures and supporting them in buying a home of their own.”
The society also raised just over £320,000 for Marie Curie in 2016.