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Leeds sees residential mortgage lending up by 26%

Leeds sees residential mortgage lending up by 26%

Leeds Building Society has reported new residential mortgage lending up by 24 per cent to £2.7bn, pushing operating profit before exceptional items 26 per cent to a record £80.9m.

Net residential lending of £1.1bn - up from £1bn in 2013 - represented its “best ever performance”, while during 2014 the society helped more than 7,800 first-time buyers onto the property ladder, accounting for over a third of total lending by value.

The annual report, published today (25 February) explained that profits were driven by record mortgage lending and a reduction in impairment losses, while the company continued to reduce commercial exposure, which now stands at less than 3 per cent of total mortgage balances.

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Closure of the staff defined benefit pension scheme to future accrual also resulted in an accounting adjustment and took total pre-tax profit to £87.9m.

Chief executive Peter Hill said that within the mortgages division “significant progress” has been made on lending on new build homes and support for the Help to Buy equity scheme.

“Our excellent profitability and sustainable business model mean we can look ahead to the future with confidence as we plan further enhancements to our service to members, including through digital channels, following the successful implementation of the initial phases of our new brand and technological improvements during 2014,” he added.

peter.walker@ft.com