Leeds BS reports 25% lending increase in 2011

Leeds Building Society advanced £1.2bn in new residential lending in 2011, a 25 per cent increase on the £984m it advanced in 2010.

Of the £1.2bn, Leeds advanced £290m, almost 24 per cent, to first-time buyers. It says it intends to increase this further in 2012 and will create more 95 per cent loan-to-value loans to help FTBs get onto the property ladder.

The average LTV on 2011 advances was 51 per cent, a slight fall from 53 per cent the year before.

Residential arrears, of more than 1.5 per cent of the outstanding mortgage balances, reduced from 3.25 per cent in 2010 to 3.23 per cent.

The building society reported a pre-tax profit of £50.2m last year, a 19 per cent increase on the £42.2m profit it made the year before.

Savings balances grew by £329m to a record level of £7.4bn and the society attracted 58,000 new members over the course of the year, taking total membership to 691,000.

Chief executive Peter Hill says: “Leeds Building Society is both independent and successful, with a strong capital base and has been  consistently profitable, despite the challenging environment. Throughout the downturn, we have continued to invest in the business and be an active player in the savings and mortgage markets, the benefits of which can be clearly seen in our results.

“We are in an excellent position to continue to focus on doing what we do best: providing good value for money products backed up by excellent service, delivered by our highly professional staff throughout this year and beyond.”