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Building society would look at bids

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.”

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