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Norwich & Peterborough profits fall 78%

Norwich & Peterborough Building Society reported a pre-tax profit of £1.3m for 2009, down 78 per cent from £5.9m in 2008.

The building society’s total income fell by 30 per cent, from £74.4m in 2008 to £52m in 2009, with the worst affected being from traditional mortgages and savings.

Retail deposits increased by 3 per cent to £3.5bn, up from £3.4bn in 2008, with £325m in additional deposits being raised in the first quarter of 2009.

N&P says its lending is fully funded by retail savings, with savings now exceeding mortgage loans to customers by £321m.

Total liquid assets were £952m, of which £499 is held in UK Government stocks, balances with the Bank of England and cash. Total liquidity is equivalent to 23.8 per cent of shares and deposits.

N&P chief executive Matthew Bullock says: “Our business is largely removed from the wholesale debt markets and the riskier elements of lending.  But so profound was the crisis that we were impacted in several ways.

“In response, we undertook a strategic review of cost. Costs incurred were reduced by 12 per cent during 2009, including a redundancy and branch closure programme charge of £2.6m, but by the end of 2009 the run rate of costs in the Group had been cut by 24 per cent, which will result in lower costs in 2010. 

“Because of its conservative and affordability-linked lending policy, N&P was pleasingly less affected than most lenders in the level of arrears amongst our mortgage borrowers. At the end of the year, residential mortgage borrowers in serious arrears amounted to only 0.83 per cent of accounts; this compares with an industry average of 1.81 per cent and well below the rating agencies’ forecasts.”

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