Darlington Building Society has today announced strong financial results, a growth in membership and continued investment, in what has been a remarkable first half to 2021.
Chief Executive Andrew Craddock described the Society’s financial performance over the past 6-months as “evidence that the Society’s financial resilience and strategy of putting members first is the right one, especially in the unprecedented circumstances faced last year”.
Key performance highlights for the 6-month period ended 30 June 2021.
- Profit before tax rebounded strongly to £1.8m (unaudited), more than double the profit for the whole of 2020.
- Gross mortgage lending was just under £90m, more than double that achieved in the first half of 2020.
- Mortgage balances increased by just over £30m, the same as that achieved in the whole of 2020.
- Savings balances increased by just under £20m, more than seen in the whole of 2020.
- Number of members increased by just under 900, growth of 1% in the first half of 2021.
“The pandemic has underlined the need for businesses to be resilient and flexible in the ways they serve members, and look after the health and wellbeing of staff,” says Andrew.
“Our aim is to be as member-focused as possible, as well as growing our reputation as somewhere talented people want to work.”
The Society continued to innovate and respond to the demand for mortgages, with the return to the 95% LTV market in March for local key workers; the introduction of an exclusive 90% LTV product for Esh Home property purchasers; and the introduction of a Holiday-Let mortgage all within the first six months of the year. The Society also became one of only eight lenders across the country to pilot the Government’s First Homes scheme.
And with plans to introduce a new mortgage sales and origination system in the second half of the year, which will enable quicker, more efficient decision making, the Society plans to continue its strong mortgage performance.
Children’s accounts were very busy, with over 750 new Junior ISA (JISA) members opening accounts, and the Society launched a new Teen Goal Saver account, at a very competitive rate, to encourage teenagers to save for the future.
On 1 June, the town’s Mayor, Councillor Carole Morgan, officially opened the brand-new branch on Redcar High Street. The move to a larger, bespoke designed space reinforced the Society’s commitment to the staff, local members, and communities. With the introduction of an additional office space for head office employees to work from, the Redcar branch was a great addition to the network.
Speaking at the ribbon cutting Chief Executive Andrew Craddock said, “Darlington Building Society prides itself on trusted personal service and, while investment in our digital services continues, our branches are at the heart of our role in the community.”
The refresh of the Society’s strategy to co-ordinate and maximise the benefits it brings to local communities was well received in early June. The “community impact strategy” combines our commitment to donating five per cent of profits to good causes, along with volunteering, financial education, and sharing facilities with local groups.
Despite the economic challenges of the pandemic, the Society will this year donate £100,000 to local worthy organisations supported by a contribution from the County Durham Community Foundation.
Donations have already been made to: Darlington CAP Debt Centre; Butterwick Hospice; South Tees Hospitals Charity; Hartlepool Special Needs Group; Middlesbrough Amateur Swimming Club; Yarm Wellness Centre; Spennymoor Town Band; the Allstars Netball Team, from Hartlepool; and Skelton United Football Club.
Andrew Craddock remains clear, that the fantastic results for the first half of the year, combined with the ongoing improvements being delivered across every part of the Society is quite simply down to the commitment and dedication of the Society’s 160 strong workforce.
“Every single person has contributed to these results, as they focus on providing the best possible service for our members.
“I remain proud and humbled by their dedication and tenacity in the face of everything we have dealt with in the last 18 months.
“I am sure we will continue to go from strength to strength as this team seems unwilling to fail.
“And the net result is a service to our members that is second to none, whether they are saving for the future or have realised a dream to own their own home.”