Stagnant housing market impacts on Bath Building Society

May 3, 2013

Annual pre-tax profits fell by 4.5% to £2.2m at Bath Building Society last year as it was hit by continued tough market conditions.

A stuttering economy, weak demand for housing finance, flat house prices and continued levels of record-low interest rates combined to create one of the most challenging periods in its 110-year history, it said.

However, the society’s assets rose by 6.8% to £270m and its reserves increased by 9.6% to £18.7m over the year. Its mortgage book grew by 5.2% to £193.4m, largely by focusing on specialist segments of the market, such as people building their own homes.

The financial results were announced at its annual general meeting (AGM) in Bath.

Chief executive Dick Jenkins said: “In 2013 we will be turning our attention to the first-time buyer (FTB) market and have started to generate real interest through our innovative approach to lending to this group.

“We increased our savings book in 2012 from £234.5m to £250.1m – a rise of 6.7%. This reveals that we remain competitive in the market and are able to attract new savings accounts in these difficult times. At a time of very low rates we have tried to ensure that our savings customers still have access to competitive accounts.

“We are more determined than ever to demonstrate that we do things very differently to the major banks.  Decent values and respect for our members have been at the core of our business for generations and will remain so going forward. A very good run of results in recent years which has continued into 2012, suggests that this different approach is being appreciated by our members.”

Bath Building Society is the only independent Building Society with its headquarters in the South West.  It has more than 10,000 savers. 1,200 mortgage customers and employs around 45 staff. 


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