Principality has posted a strong set of annual figures with new net retail mortgage lending of £499m helping to take total assets to over £10bn (£10.7bn) for the first time in the Society’s history.
To support the growth in lending the Society attracted an additional £596m of new savings. Underlying profits for the year were £39.8m and in line with expectations.
Principality once again provided award-winning customer service, with consumer champion Which? naming Principality the top scoring lender for customer satisfaction for the second year running. GFK Global named Principality the most recommended savings provider in Wales in each of the past two years. In 2019 the Society’s Net Promoter Score, which measures the satisfaction of customers and brokers who recommend Principality to other people, improved to 81.5 per cent compared with 78.6 per cent in 2018.
The Society’s savings products have maintained their position as one of the most attractive on the High Street. In 2019 Principality delivered an average rate to savers of 1.18%, compared with a market average over the same period of 0.74%.
Mike Jones, Interim CEO at Principality Building Society, said:
“I am very proud of our performance and the excellent service we continue to deliver to our members. Our aims are very much focused on securing the long-term future of the Society and our underlying reported profits reflect the cost of the significant investment we are making in modernising the technology which supports our mortgage and savings businesses. This will make our mortgage application process simpler and more efficient for our customers and mortgage brokers to use. Our colleagues will also deliver a new savings platform which will improve our on-line service for members.
“Our strong capital base, supported by our low-risk business model, allows us to take a long-term view when investing in the business. Being a safe and secure home for our members’ savings is crucial to the ongoing success of our business.
“This is an exciting period in Principality’s history. Our goal is to secure the future of the business for our next generation of members. While we are investing in technology, our commitment to the high street is undiminished. As bank branches on the high street in Wales continue to close, our presence is strong with 70 branches and agencies across Wales and the Borders.
“Our business continues to invest in branches while others are shutting theirs. As a major business in Wales, we want our towns to be thriving and financial service organisations have a role to play in ensuring towns and communities prosper.”
Principality Commercial team has once again made an outstanding contribution in helping to build and invest in Welsh communities. This has included making £50m available in competitively priced loans to help smaller housing developers build homes across Wales, together with £75m of funding for housing associations to support the creation of affordable homes. Their efforts represent a significant contribution towards addressing the Welsh housing agenda.
Last year, Principality provided financial education to more than 11,000 children. It invested £110,000 and helped thousands of school children to earn the equivalent of a GCSE. Colleagues also raised £156,000 to be shared equally between its charity partners Teenage Cancer Trust Cymru and Alzheimer’s Society Cymru.
Mike Jones added:
“I expect the economic environment in 2020 to remain challenging and competitive. Nevertheless, our strong capital base means the business is able provide a safe and secure home for our members’ savings irrespective of the prevailing economic climate.
“The Society is built on strong foundations and we have consistently demonstrated our ability to thrive in challenging market conditions. Continuing to grow and invest in our business and in our colleagues, will ensure that we provide the outstanding service our existing members have come to expect.”