THE Yorkshire Building Society Group has reported a pre-tax profit of £165.8 million.

The Bradford-based mutual posted a nine per cent increase in pre-tax profits for 2017, up from £151.5m the previous year and a 25 per cent rise in core operating profit to £160.2m, from £128m in 2016.

The group, which employs 1,500 people at its base in Yorkshire Drive, financed more than 36,000 home loans, increasing gross mortgage lending by 13 per cent to a record £8.1 billion, up from £7.2bn in 2016. Net lending has risen by 46.5 per cent to £1bn, up from £0.7bn in 2016. It also opened 193,000 new accounts and increased savings balances to £28.9bn, up from £28.7bn in 2016.

The group provided 36,064 mortgages in 2017, up from 27,229 in 2016. The 2017 figure includes 7,011, up from 6,398 the previous year, to first-time buyers.

Mike Regnier, YBS chief executive, said he was delighted with the 2017 figures and the company would not be getting complacent this year.

He predicted the property market would be challenging in general throughout 2018.

Mr Regnier said: “I’m pleased to be reporting a strong financial performance for 2017, despite a very competitive market and ongoing wider economic uncertainty.

“We’ve continued to fulfil our core purpose of helping people achieve their key financial goals, whether that’s buying a home, saving for today, or leaving a legacy for the next generation. Last year the mortgage market was bigger than in 2016. Our strategy to concentrate on our core business areas has led to adjustments in how we operate. We are bringing the majority of our work to Bradford.

“Our markets are very very competitive and we will place all of our efforts to continue to remain as competitive as possible.


“As we announced in 2017, we are making changes to our brands and high street locations, and are withdrawing from the current account market. We believe these changes, which will be competed in 2018, are vital in ensuring the Society is well positioned for the future so we can continue to provide good long-term value to our members.”

YBS announced in November last year that it will close 13 branches as part of an efficiency drive that could see it axe 250 jobs.

The bulk of the job losses are expected to come from its office in Cheltenham, with 200 staff expected to be axed as work is transferred to Bradford and Peterborough as part of a phased closure over the next two years.