New man in charge confident business will grow at building society
Stockport based Vernon Building society made pre-tax profits of £769,000 last year.
And the new chief executive of Vernon Steve Fletcher is predicting another strong year for the mutual.
Fletcher, who took over as chief executive from the long-serving Mike Hanson in February, told members at Vernon’s annual review that the business will grow over the next 12 months.
He said: “Whilst internal change and the competitive mortgage market meant that gross lending reduced in 2017 and our balance sheet contracted slightly, because of the investments made in the broker channel and in new products, we start 2018 with a healthy mortgage pipeline.
“I’m confident that the business will grow over the coming years, underpinned by our strong financial position and below industry average arrears.”
During 2017, the Vernon took on 15 new members of staff, including Fletcher, which means it now employs 80 staff.
The chief executive added: “The Board has developed a five-year plan to support future growth that takes advantage of our local personal service and individual underwriting approach.
“The programme of investment detailed within it will continue with improvements to our processes, IT infrastructure and most importantly further investment in our people
“Our Retirement and Family Assist Mortgages were both developed and launched in response to changing demographics and societal requirements – namely an ageing population and helping children or other family members get onto the property ladder. There are further similar products in the pipeline.
“We also recognise that the way in which we live and work is a far cry from even five years ago, so we offer a bespoke approach – working with human underwriters – to ensure that common sense prevails.”
The Vernon Building Society has six branches in Stockport and Cheshire, with its headquarters in Stockport town centre and has been serving Stockport since 1924.