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Lending boost for Chelsea

Gross mortgage lending at Chelsea Building Society increased by 35 per cent from £1.72bn in 2002 to £2.32bn last year.

Net mortgage lending increased by 28 per cent from £686m to £878m while profits rose by 13 per cent from £50.1m to £56.8m.

The number of borrowing members at the Chelsea has risen to 85,000 and the society says a low-risk lending strategy underpinned by strict underwriting criteria has resulted in mortgage arrears of close to half the industry average.

Chief executive Michael Bage says: “We continue to demonstrate our underlying strengths by outperforming our peers and 2003 is no exception.

“On top of that, the Chelsea remains absolutely committed to its branch network and we are bucking the trend in the financial services sector by opening new offices in Plymouth last year and in Birmingham later this year, providing tangible evidence of our commitment.

“We plan to continue the branch opening programme over the coming years.”



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