"We have consistently supported those with low deposits through our 95% mortgages and will look at how new initiatives such as the Help to Buy scheme can help us reach more potential customers and support local home-buyers."
Chairman David Thompson
Nottingham, Nottinghamshire (PRWEB UK) 26 April 2013
During his address, Mr Thompson looked back at the successes and achievements in 2012, when despite continued challenging and uncertain market conditions, The Nottingham Building Society maintained its focus on delivering its strategy resulting in a strong performance.
During 2012, The Nottingham continued to build on the progress of previous years, growing its balance sheet by 10.2% and increasing mortgage lending by 28% to £559 million. In addition, the society increased its overall savings balances by 14%. All of this helped to produce an 18% increase in profitability and raised the society’s pre-tax profit to £8.5 million.
After looking at the successes of 2012, Mr Thompson then focused his main attention on 2013 and beyond. Highlights of his speech included:
Mortgages - “Looking ahead to 2013 we are now entering a phase when the Society is looking to build on the strong foundations it has laid. We plan to continue to grow our mortgage lending, helped in part by participating in the Funding for Lending scheme. The Bank of England has approved our use of the scheme, which today was extended until at least January 2015, and we have recently made our first draw down of funds. As a locally based Society we have consistently supported those with low deposits through our 95% mortgages and will look at how new initiatives such as the Help to Buy scheme can help us reach more potential customers and support local home-buyers.”
Savings - “We remain committed to offering good value savings rates and to retaining savers as well as growing our local customer base and lending. A strong demonstration of this is that in January this year, the average rate payable on our savings accounts was 2.55% compared to a market average of just 1.99%. The fact is that we have maintained savings rates at an average of over 5 times higher than base rates, whilst increasing our lending in a profitable manner. We will need to continue this balancing act throughout 2013.”
Investment – “In 2013 we will make further investments to our core systems to improve our member’s experience. As well as being friendly and approachable, we know that our members want us to be “easy to deal with”, and we will make further investments in the capability of both our systems and our people to ensure we deliver what members want. Consistent feedback from many of our members is that they want to hear more from us to keep them informed about products and services we have to offer. We will respond to this by developing new communications through 2013 to keep customers better informed.”
Shepshed Building Society merger - “We were pleased in December to announce our proposed merger with the Shepshed Building Society. The merger supports our long term ambition to grow our member base, and extend our presence on High Streets across the East Midlands. The Shepshed, with nearly 7,000 members and branches in Shepshed, Loughborough and Ruddington, helps us towards this goal and in particular moves us in to Leicestershire. We remain of the view that there is a significant opportunity for us to develop as a strong regional mutual and to offer a credible and attractive alternative to the banks in our heartland. Following the Shepshed’s AGM yesterday, I am delighted to tell you that their members voted overwhelmingly in favour of the merger with The Nottingham, which subject to regulatory approval will become effective on 1st July this year.”
Harrison Murray - “The Society also announced the acquisition of regional based estate agency Harrison Murray earlier in the year. This acquisition is part of our strategy to grow the Society and extend our geographical presence on the High Street. Harrison Murray operates in 18 locations throughout Leicestershire, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and in the majority of its locations it is the market leader.
The Nottingham has successfully operated as an integrated estate agent and building society for over 25 years and will further develop this approach through the acquisition of Harrison Murray. In addition to boosting our capability and profile within the housing market, we plan to introduce building society services in a number of existing Harrison Murray branches, later this year. This is a very cost effective way for us to enter new locations as we are effectively sharing space with a trading, profitable business and can incrementally grow from this strong base.”
Sponsorship - “We will also increase the level of marketing activity to promote the Society to new and existing members. I am pleased to announce that in 2013 we are again sponsoring Raleigh’s professional cycling team. As another brand with a proud Nottingham heritage, we worked successfully together in 2012 across a range of activities, including the Nottingham’s Cycle Live event, the Tour of Britain and our own Bike It fundraising activity. We look forward to doing so again this year.”
Community - “Through our Doing Good Together initiative, we will continue to support local groups, in 2013 we are looking at where and how to get involved with communities in our newly extended heartland. In 2013, we have already awarded community grants of £24,149 to six worthy causes. We have recently also begun working with SportsAid through the sponsorship of 13 talented local young sports men and women who aspire to be the next generation of Olympians and will be linked closely with their local branch.”
In summary, Mr Thompson, added, “Our performance in Q1 of 2013 continues to be strong and at the end of the first quarter we are ahead of the key metrics in our plan. We are confident we can sustain our performance during the course of the year, but are not complacent about the challenges ahead.”
*(sourced CACI January 2013).