Hanley Economic Building Society has increased its total assets to £471.04m at the end of 2021, achieved by growth of £20.19m of retail shares.
Underlying total asset growth was 4.39%, but the society chose to make its full repayment to the Bank of England’s Term Funding Scheme, reducing headline growth to 1.17%.
Hanley Economic implemented a planned reduction in new business lending over the course of the year to ensure a smooth transition to a new IT core platform.
As such, mortgage balances decreased by £8.64m to £366.61m (2020: £375.25m), with gross lending of £69.03m (2020: £93.63m).
First-time buyer activity, including shared ownership, accounted for 40% of all new business lending.
Retirement interest-only lending grew by 114% compared to the previous year, and self-build lending increased by 30% year-on-year.
The society achieved a top 50 place at the Sunday Times Best Companies awards in its category, and was also highly commended for finishing at number 11 of all financial services firms in the UK.
Mark Selby, CEO at Hanley Economic Building Society, said: “Against a backdrop of extraordinarily demanding circumstances, the team have achieved an outstanding commercial performance whilst maintaining service for members, borrowers and intermediary partners throughout the pandemic.
“From a mortgage perspective, there has been a deliberate slowing of advances aligned with a fervent desire to maintain a presence in the specialised lending arenas, especially in self-build.
“Despite temporarily halting new lending to overhaul our mortgage processing platform back in February – and amidst ongoing system upgrades – we have managed to develop our product portfolio and remained active in the residential, self-build and RIO markets.
“A move which underlines our continued commitment in helping both aspiring first-time buyers to get onto the property ladder and in supporting existing homeowners with their remortgage aspirations.
“We have also made significant additions to our broker panel throughout the financial year, have plans in place to establish stronger intermediary relationships and to further expand our product range in the year ahead.
“This combination – alongside the completion of our systems overhaul in early 2022 – will result in an even greater number of intermediary partners being able to access a new, improved and fully functional online system which will help speed up and simplify the application process as we look to extend our lending volumes over the course of the next year.”