Record profit

Scottish Building Society boosts case for mutuals

Paul Denton: re-investing

Scottish Building Society has posted the highest savings balances total in its 175-year history as it becomes the latest mutual to beat the banks for performance.

The society announced record profits of £4m and said savings balances had increased by more than 17% to £490.9 million as savers sought out better rates in a competitive market.

It said building societies were benefiting amid a backlash against banks which were closing branches and reducing product ranges.

The society’s mortgage book was up by 8% to £535.5m and total assets grew 15% to £740.7m.

Other building societies have been performing strongly and two have announced takeover bids for banks. The Nationwide is acquiring Virgin Money, while Coventry has agreed a deal with the Co-op Bank.

In a statement, Scottish Building Society said: “The recent announcements by large banks closing branches and limiting product ranges [have] created a movement of customers towards building societies with their simple product ranges and commitment to physical branches.”

Paul Denton, chief executive, said: “As a mutual, we make decisions exclusively for the benefit of our members, not shareholders. At a time when banks are looking to cut costs, we are reinvesting in what our membership tell us are important to them.”

Mr Denton said: “We are acutely aware that the economic conditions remain uncertain, which is why we are doubling down on our values and are laser-focused on continuing to deliver for our members and the communities we serve.

“Over the last year, we have opened a new relationship centre in Edinburgh, committed to ensuring passbook accounts are available to anyone who wishes to use them and [continued] our human-first approach to personal finance. These values have led our society since its inception.”

Scottish Building Society has six relationship centres, in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness, Galashiels, and Troon, and employs 98 staff.

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