Principality’s mortgage lending climbs 7% to £1bn in 2011

Principality Building Society has reported gross mortgage lending of £1bn for 2011, a 6.5 per cent increase on the previous year.

The society’s annual results for the year ended December 31, 2011 show this is its highest level of lending for four years.

The lender made a pre-tax profit of £24.5m for 2011, down 20.5 per cent on its profit of £30.8m for 2010.

Principality group chief executive Peter Griffiths says: “We have continued to successfully manage market and economic challenges, growing our balance sheet as some competitor banks and building societies sought to shrink theirs.”

He adds: “Many are coming around to the view that the mutual way is demonstrably the better way and Principality’s strong and profitable performance in 2011 serves to prove our resilience to market conditions and highlight our ability to steer the business through the economic storm.”

Principality says that throughout 2011 it has focused on supporting the house purchasing market, targeting help for first-time buyers in particular.

Griffiths says: “Recognising the plight of first-time buyers, we expanded our product portfolio to include more innovative products in response to the changed mortgage market, including making a significant investment to support shared ownership schemes.”

He adds: “We will continue to work with all of our stakeholders to create further innovative solutions to meet Wales’ housing needs, focusing on putting building back into building society in 2012 and beyond.”

The results also show that Principality welcomed 38,000 new customers to the society in 2011, including 29,000 new savers.