174-year-old Scottish Building Society hails record results after membership leaps

The Scottish Building Society has cheered record results after membership leapt over the last 12 months.

By Scott Reid
Friday, 8th April 2022, 9:17 am
Updated Friday, 8th April 2022, 9:17 am

The mutual, which was established in 1848, has seen its balance sheet grow by nearly 40 per cent in the last two years, leading to a pre-tax profit of £2.4 million in the financial year to the end of January and mortgage assets of £454m.

Edinburgh-headquartered SBS, which only offers savings and mortgage accounts, ascribed the growth to customers “seeking both value and purpose” when joining the society.

Bosses said the mutual had grown its mortgage balances by more than 36 per cent over the last two years, and helped more people than ever purchase a new home.

Scottish Building Society chief executive Paul Denton.

Chief executive Paul Denton said: “We are as committed to our wider purpose today, as we were back in 1848. As a mutual society, we reward our members with fair interest rates whilst responsibly using those funds to provide flexible mortgages, enabling Scottish people to buy homes and get on the property ladder.

“The environment has changed over the years, but that simple strategy has helped the society survive and thrive towards its 175th anniversary next year.”

SBS said that as a mutually owned organisation, it has been able to offer its members savings accounts above market average interest rates, “helping people get the most out of their money”.

Denton added: “Despite the historic low base rate, we have continued to pay savings rates above the market average, whilst our income has benefitted by growing our mortgage balances more than 36 per cent in the last two years.

“We are now helping more members buy their homes than ever before, which is something we are incredibly proud of in today’s fierce mortgage market.

“As a mutual, unlike the high street banks, we do not have shareholders, so all profits are reinvested into the business, in areas such as in new digital technologies, improving our member experience and increasing our capital base to support future growth.”

Denton also praised the staff at SBS for their “immense work” during the pandemic, stressing it was one of the reasons why the society had performed so strongly.

“It has been without doubt two enormously difficult years from an economic and operational perspective, but our staff have delivered outstanding results despite these major challenges,” he said.

“Unlike retail banks who are moving out of towns and cities across the country, we are working harder than ever to provide for our members - be that through online or in-person banking.

“When many of our competitors sought to save money by cutting services, we were looking for ways to help our members, by offering compelling interest rates for savers and have now helped a record number of people own their own home.”

Chairman Raymond Abbott said he planned to retire towards the end of the year, adding: “The society is progressing well with the search for a new chair and I hope to be able to announce my successor at the AGM [annual general meeting].”

The AGM is due to be held in May.

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