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Nationwide building society has reported a 54% rise in annual pre-tax profit to £1.04 billion. It has now regained its position as the UK’s second largest mortgage lender. The firm said that they accounted for nearly a third of new mortgage lending last year. In the year before, the building society saw a £667 million profit.

After nine years as chief executive, Graham Beale is expected to retire next year, Nationwide announced. In the mean time, the search for a replacement would begin. Beale served on the board of the building society for 13 years and first became the chief executive shortly before the financial crisis hit in 2007.

As the pace of house price growth eased, the firm expected growth to moderate in the years ahead but their net interest income, which Nationwide receives from savings deposits and its own investments, rose £458 million to £2.8 billion. Nationwide also said that savings deposits grew by £1.9 billion.

Net mortgage lending which are new mortgages advances minus those repaid in full, amounted to £7.1 billion in the year to the 4th April, which was down from £9.9 billion the year before. Nationwide therefore had a 31.2% share of the UK mortgage market.