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Nationwide sees strongest half-year lending figures for five years

Building society made a pre-tax profit of £270m despite its base mortage rate pledge to keep rates capped.

Nationwide Building Society has posted its strongest half-year lending figures for five years, with a massive 162 per cent increase in pre-tax profit.

The mutual lent £14bn in the six months to 30 September, up 37 per cent on the £10.2bn lent in the same period of 2012.

This gave Nationwide a gross lending market share of 15.4 per cent at the end of September, up from 14.4 per cent a year earlier.

Net lending was up 75 per cent over the period to £5.6bn, from £3.2bn.

The mutual advanced £1.6bn in the six months to the end of September, giving it a 16 per cent share of the market.

Nationwide says it helped over 30,400 first-time buyers over the period, up 52 per cent on the same period of 2012, and claims to have advanced 16 per cent of all Help to Buy shared equity loans.

The lender advanced £1.6bn to buy-to-let customers, giving it a 16 per cent share of the market.

It made a pre-tax profit of £270m between April and September, up 162 per cent on the £103m made over the same period in 2012.

The profits come despite Nationwide’s base mortgage rate pledge to keep rates capped at base rate plus 2 per cent for borrowers who have taken a loan out before September 2009 and have switched to the revert-to rate.

Nationwide says its base mortgage rate pledge cost it £400m in the six months to the end of September 2013.

London & Country associate director of communications David Hollingworth says: “Nationwide clearly has an appetite to lend.”

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