Staffs building society steaming ahead after impressive year…
Stafford Railway Building Society has enjoyed yet another successful year with increased mortgage balances, steady growth and a very healthy level of profit and capital.
For the year ended 31 October 2015, the Market Square-based Society reported a profit of £1.53 million after taxation (2014: £1.45 million), which when added to the General Reserve gives an increasingly strong total of £18.50 million capital (2014: £16.97 million).
The Society has also continued to grow in size and strength over the year and improved in its core markets of mortgages and savings, with total assets amounting to £265.32m (2014: £261.46m), an increase of £3.86m or 1.5%.
Liquid assets comprising cash, bank balances and authorised investments were up to £85.5 million (2014: £83.6 million), while despite the challenges of the ongoing low interest rate environment, shares and other investors’ balances increased to £246.1 million (2014: £243.6 million) – an increase of £2.5m or 1.0% on the previous year.
The Society also lent £32.1m to borrowers and of this, £30.3m was advanced on 356 new mortgages and £1.8m on 64 further advances. Total advances secured on residential property and other loans increased during the year to £179.1 million (2014: £177.1 million).
Chief Executive Susan Whiting explains: “The Society grew by almost 50% during the previous five years, so 2015 has been one more of consolidation with a slightly lower rate of growth. But even so, we have still made an excellent profit, which contributes to a healthy level of capital and further supports our financial stability.
“Throughout the year we have continued to provide extremely competitive rates to our investing members – indeed the interest rate on our ISA still ranks within the top five rates nationally for comparable products according to Moneyfacts.*
“Additionally, our mortgage book continues to rise steadily. Most importantly, we consider the lending to be extremely safe, and only recently our residential mortgage rate was again reported by The Times newspaper as having the lowest Standard Variable Rate (SVR) of all UK lenders.**
“These results also demonstrate continued faith in the independent mutual model, because we don’t pay any profits out to external shareholders, plus we aim to treat all members fairly and to balance the interests of investing and borrowing members as equitably as possible within the framework of market forces.
“I also think one of the key factors to all this continued success is our excellent staff. Ever since we first opened our doors for business in Stafford over 130 years ago, we have been committed to providing both excellent service and straightforward savings and mortgage products. Our staff still believe in putting members first – and our members, both new and old, seem to really appreciate the extra personal attention and courtesy they receive.”
*Variable Cash ISA December 2015. **Rate for residential mortgage without Higher Lending Charge (3.20%) at time of issue.
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