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Leeds BS boss to retire as profits dip

Leeds BS boss to retire as profits dip

Leeds Building Society's chief executive Peter Hill (pictured) is to retire next year the firm has said, as it reported a fall in pre-tax profits for the first half of 2018.

Mr Hill is to step down in February 2019 and, subject to regulatory approval, he will hand over to Richard Fearon, who is currently chief commercial officer.

According to its latest results, the society posted a £60.1m profit before tax for the six months to June 2018, down 5 per cent on the £63.2m written in the same period leading up to June 2017.

This was attributed to a one-off charge of £6.9m resulting from its decision to dispose of its Irish mortgages.

The results, which were released today (3 August), also showed its new residential mortgage lending stood at £1.8bn, representing a drop from £2.1bn on June 2017.

Despite this, its total assets increased to £19.5bn, up 13 per cent on June 2017 - reflecting lending growth and higher liquidity, the society said.

The society attracted more than 42,000 new savers - increasing retail savings balances to £13.9bn. This was up from June 2017, when the figure stood at  £12.5bn.

Mr Hill said: "We believe our success in attracting thousands more members is testament to (our) approach. In a competitive market and uncertain economic climate, they see the value in our products, services and our status as a member-owned business which is here for them for life."

Leeds' membership now stands at more than 809,000, which is the highest in its history and up from 778,000 in June last year.

aamina.zafar@ft.com