Derbyshire Building Society’s new chief executive Graham Picken says the mutual will consider takeover bids but he would prefer it to remain independent.
Picken, previously a non-executive director, last week replaced chief executive Peter Richardson who is retiring early after being in the role for eight years.
The society was recently put on review for a possible downgrade by credit rating agency Moody’s which says Derbyshire, which has £6bn of assets, has relatively high exposure to specialised mortgage markets such as sub-prime, self-certification and buy to let. It says much of this exposure is of high credit quality but these sectors have not been tested in a significant downturn.
Eighty-three per cent of Derbyshire’s mortgage lending is funded by customer deposits and 88 per cent of its mortgages are prime. A statement from the Derbyshire said: “Moody’s decision is disappointing but understandable, given the current uncertain economic conditions.”