Building society ‘financially resilient’ despite impact of virus

Yorkshire Building Society (YBS) has recorded pre-tax profits of £67.3m, in its half year report today, down from £76.5m as of 30 June 2019.

Core operating profit for the six months to 30 June 2020 was £74.7m (30 June 2019: £97.5m).

Over the same period, YBS lent £3bn to customers purchasing properties, compared to £4bn last year, with its gross mortgage market share dropping from 2.9% at the end of 2019 to 2.5%.

The number of savings accounts opened with the Society fell from 128,467 as of 30 June 2019, to 105,283.

The Society’s half year report adds: “Despite the current economic and operating environment we have had no material challenges with our key suppliers that have impacted the service to our customers.

“We continue to monitor our operational resilience daily as the situation evolves.

“Our capital and liquidity positions remain strong and we have applied a range of stress tests in order to understand the implications of the potential changes arising from the current environment.

“In addition, we have maintained a branch network that has remained open, albeit with reduced opening hours, to serve the needs of our customers throughout the lockdown.”

“Recent mortgage performance has also been encouraging, as we have traded positively through the initial stages of market normalisation.

“We have established a healthy pipeline of new mortgage business as we head into the second half of the year.”

YBS says it remains confident in its financial resilience and sustainability, while it continues to guard against future risks related to the pandemic, as well as Brexit related economic uncertainty.

Its report adds: “The coronavirus pandemic placed significant operational demands on all financial services organisations, requiring rapid changes to working arrangements and adapting existing processes to continue to meet customer needs under unprecedented and challenging circumstances.

“The Group successfully implemented its operational response to the lockdown in line with Government guidelines, and continues to monitor and implement changes resulting from updates to this guidance.

“Planning is underway to coordinate and determine a controlled office re-allocation strategy, ensuring colleague wellbeing, physical safety and commercial demands are equal priorities in the return to YBS premises.”