Skipton ups lending but profits fall
The group saw its profits fall from £90m in H1 2014 to £72.1m in H1 2015. Skipton attributed falling profits to increased costs and loan impairment provisions in the mortgages and savings division and also reduced profits from estate agency division Connells.
The society upped its mortgage balances by 15.5% over the same period, while the number of group residential mortgages in three months arrears fell from 1.37% a year ago to 1.00%.
David Cutter, Skipton Group chief executive, said: “The first six months of this year has seen us maintain our strong financial position, remain focused on our core mortgage and savings business and invest in our processes and people.
“But our commitment to our members extends much further than remaining a financially strong society for them. We are proud to be a building society that remains committed to mutuality, growing its membership and enhancing its proposition to its members.
“It remains a very difficult time for savers, with low interest rates and Bank Base Rate having remained at 0.5% for over six years. However, over these past six months we’ve continued to support both our savings and borrowing members, with a suite of competitive and award winning products, and the strong growth in savings and mortgage balances is testament to the society’s relative competitiveness.”
In the first half of the year the society’s average LTV was 67%, as Skipton said increased lending has been achieved without extending its existing risk appetite.