In its latest interim statement, the Nationwide Building Society has reported a rise in both gross and net mortgage lending during its third quarter of 2018/19.
Gross mortgage lending increased to £26.8bn from £24.1bn for the same period 12 months before, while net mortgage lending was up from £3.9bn to £6.1bn.
The UK’s largest building society reported that it had helped 59,400 first-time buyers onto the property ladder.
Meanwhile, deposit balances were up by £5.9bn (Q3 2017/18: £2.3bn).
The Nationwide said underlying profit totalled £691m (Q3 2017/18: £880m), with statutory profit £703m (Q3 2017/18: £886m). Profits are after a charge of £167m for asset write-offs and additional technology spend in line with the Society’s September 2018 announcement of increased investment.
The Nationwide’s chief executive, Joe Garner, said: “Nationwide Building Society is owned and run for the benefit of our members – not shareholders. Our membership has grown this year, we’ve continued to lead on service1 and trust, helped more people into a home, and seen more members trust us with their money. Our commitment to rewarding these members with great value products and prioritising long-term value has encouraged more people to switch their mortgages and current accounts to us, and save with our Single Access and Loyalty ISAs. We’ve also helped 59,400 first-time buyers into their first home.
“As a mutual we are different in having more scope to make decisions in the long-term interest of our members. In September we took the conscious decision to increase significantly our investment in the Society in the full knowledge that it would impact profitability in the short-to medium-term but would be of long-term benefit to our members. Underlying profit for the first nine months of the year, at £691 million, is broadly flat year on year, excluding a charge of £167 million relating to asset write-offs and additional technology spend. This investment is to ensure we can continue to meet our members’ changing needs in an increasingly digital future. At the same time, consistent with member feedback, we remain committed to and are investing in our presence on the high street.
“Additionally, in November we announced our commitment to launch a small business current account and expect to submit a bid for £50 million from the RBS Alternative Remedies Package. Our service will combine an advanced digital offering that integrates with our UK-wide network of branches and people to meet the needs of the many small and micro businesses that are not currently being well-served by incumbent banks. We believe that a combination of new technology and traditional face-to-face service will bring to life our vision for business banking – one built on excellent levels of service, trust and value.
“Looking ahead to the fourth quarter, as consumers continue to benefit from considerable choice, we intend to remain competitive and thus expect that lending margins will continue to moderate. We are confident that the Society’s financial strength means we can continue to support members, as we have always done.”