Stroud & Swindon announces results

Amanda Jarvis

March 8, 2006

The Society believes they are a strong set of results, when taken into consideration a very competitive market and increasing costs of regulation.

Highlights included:
– Total assets increased by 9 per cent to £2.5 billion
– Gross new mortgage lending of £600 million
– New savings products generate £300 million
– Pre-tax profits of £10.6 million

David Hill, chief executive of Stroud & Swindon, said: “We are delighted to be able to report another successful year for Stroud & Swindon. Demand for our mortgage products remained strong despite a clear slowdown in the housing market. This was achieved as a result of a consistent range of good value mortgages that regularly featured in best buy tables. Our buy-to-let range proved very attractive, enabling us to meet the demands of the increasing number of borrowers entering into this sector of the market.

“On the savings front, our Branch Premier account saw heavy demand from local customers who still prefer the face to face service offered by staff in our network of branch and agency offices. Allied to the Diamond Account, specifically designed for the over-60s and some very competitive fixed rate bonds, we were able to attract over £300 million of savings balances into these products. Whilst the stock market showed a significant recovery in 2005, savers are clearly still attracted by the security and simplicity of traditional building society savings accounts.

“The increasing demands of regulation within the industry have contributed heavily towards our running costs and our management expense ratio increased slightly to 0.81 per cent as opposed to 0.80 per cent in 2004. This figure does however remain amongst the best in the industry.

“I was very proud to be appointed as chief executive of Stroud & Swindon at the start of 2006 and fully intend to see that we continue to offer first class products and service to our members whether this be through our branches, our direct operation, the internet or intermediaries. Our strategic plans include further initiatives to target areas of niche lending, to broaden our product range including a focus on assisting first-time-buyers, the development of related services to generate new income streams and a continuing emphasis on improving cost efficiency within our core business.

“I am confident that we are well placed to meet the challenges ahead and will continue to provide our members excellent value and service.”

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