A prominent building society in Peterborough has today reported a nine per cent rise in pre-tax profits.
The Yorkshire Building Society, which employs 400 people in Peterborough, says pre-tax profits hit £165.8 million last year compared to £151.5 million in the previous year.
Its gross mortage lending rose to a record level of £8.1 billion - up 13 per cent on the £7.2 billion achieved in 2016 - as it financed 36,064 home loans - compared to 27,229 in 2016, according to its annual results for 2017.
This included loans to 7,011 first time buyers - up on 2016's 6,398 first time buyers.
The Society's net lending rose by 46.5 per cent to £1 billion.
Savers opened 193,000 accounts over the year as the Society's savings balances rose to £28. 9 billion compared to £28.7 billion in 2016.
The proportion of accounts in arrears by more than three months (including possessions) fell to 0.56 per cent compared to 0.76 per cent in 2016, against an industry average of 0.88 per cent.
Mike Regnier, the Society's chief executive, 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."
The Yorkshire Building Society acquired the Norwich & Peterborough Building Society in 2011 and a year ago announced it would be dropping the N&P brand and scrappping the N&P current accounts.
Mr Regnier added: "Our strategy to concentrate on our core business areas has led to adjustments in how we operate.
"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 completed 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."