Profits up at The West Brom

The West Brom has increased pre-tax profits by 19% as it continues to rebalance its lending portfolio into areas where it is more confident of sustainable returns.

The building society, which is celebrating its 170th anniversary this year, slimmed down its non-core commercial loan book with increasing its owner-occupied balances.

Chief executive Jonathan Westhoff said: “The year on year reduction in overall lending volumes reflects a strategic decision to focus only on those market segments where sustainable returns can be evidenced, once again demonstrating how we always act in the best interests of our members, as we will not look to existing members to subsidise uneconomic lending segments.”

Pre-tax profits in the year to March 2019 reached £10.5m and now has 425,000 members.

Its £691m of new mortgage lending included supporting more than 2,700 first-time buyers, although this was down by around 400 people year-on-year.

However Westhoff said The West Brom was “working hard to extend our lending proposition to support more diverse groups of borrowers who are less well served by mainstream mortgage providers”.

It is doing this through products such as mortgages where a sponsor assists with monthly repayments and mortgage funding for self-build projects.