SKIPTON Building Society has reported a group pre-tax profit to £200 million for last year, as it announced a merger with another company.

Skipton, which has a branch in Market Street, Bradford, will merge with Holmesdale Building Society later this year.

Skipton recorded a 19 per cent increase in group profit, a nine per cent rise in underlying group profit before tax to £165.7m and mortgage balances grew by £1.3 billion to £16.8bn, an increase of 8.3 per cent from 2016.

Group total assets increased by 10.5 per cent during 2017 to £21bn, up from £19bn in 2016.

The society recorded a 58,657 increase in members to 919,060, in its full year results for 2017.

The Skipton group, which provides mortgages, savings, investments and pensions advice, is the head of a group which includes an estate agency, a mortgage and savings provider based in Guernsey, two subsidiaries with mortgagee portfolios in run-off and a small investment portfolio.

Skipton’s merger with Holmesdale Building Society, based in Reigate, Surrey, is subject to approval by the members of the latter company and confirmation by the Prudential Regulation Authority.

If approval and confirmation is received, the merger is expected to become effective through the transfer of all of the Holmesdale’s engagements to Skipton on October 1 this year.

David Cutter, Skipton’s group chief executive, said: “These are yet another set of strong results for Skipton, and we have seen continued strong growth in our mortgage and savings balances whilst continuing to build our capital base.

“Looking after people’s savings and enabling home ownership is at the very heart of what the Society does as a mutual building society.

“I firmly believe that our long term focus of being there to help people plan for their life ahead is resonating with our members.

“We remain vigilant regarding potential economic headwinds, but the capital and funding actions taken during 2017 by the Society mean we are well placed to manage the risks that we face and to capitalise upon any opportunities that may arise for the benefit of our members.”