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Nationwide profits fall by third but lending share recovers slightly

Nationwide Building Society saw its profits plummet by £109m to £233m in the year to April 4.

But it achieved a 3.1 per cent share of net residential mortgage lending, up from 0.2 per cent at the half-year but down from its 9.1 per cent share in 2001.

The society attributes this growth to its fair pricing mortgage initiative progressing ahead of target.

It says further evidence of growth is that current pipeline mortgage business is £3.7bn, up from £2.6bn last year.

Nationwide says its mutual status lets it deliver a record £520m of benefits to members and allows it to have higher savings rates, lower mortgage rates and fewer fees and char-ges than its plc competitors.

Chief executive Philip Williamson says: “Nationwide has a very different approach to our plc competitors. The main focus of banks is to make money for their shareholders and they do so at the expense of their customers. If they had followed our pricing strategy for the last six years, UK consumers would have been £19bn better off.

“We do not need to maximise profits and that enables us to focus on delivering value and doing the right thing for our members. We demonstrated this when we introduced our base mortgage rate and by our decision to accelerate our move to a single variable rate following a ruling by the financial ombudsman service.”

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