Monmouthshire Breaks Through 500M Assets Mark

14 November 2006

Monmouthshire Building Society, one of Wales’s largest financial institutions, has broken through the £500 million assets ‘barrier’ for the first time in its 137-year history.

The Newport-based society, which last month announced a record 15% hike in pre-tax profits to £3.41m (£2.95m), credits the success on its continued delivery of innovative savings and mortgage products and another strong growth in its membership in the past 12 months.

Managing Director Mr Andrew Lewis, “To have surpassed the £500m asset total is a very significant achievement for a building society. It is indicative of the attractiveness of the Monmouthshire as against other institutions that have abandoned mutuality and are now forced to meet shareholders demands first and foremost.”

“It is a credit to all of our branch and head office staff, but more importantly our membership that we continue to be a market leader in what remains an extremely competitive market place. It is the membership that continues to place its trust in us to deliver competitive savings and mortgage products.”

The year saw gross lending of £90m by the Society, based on its ability to maintain its standard mortgage rate below the accepted norm and to continue to offer a range of attractively priced tracker, discounted and fixed mortgage products.

Mr Lewis added, "We continue to enjoy a very healthy savings inflow and in the mortgage market, we are continuing our policy of prudent lending at sensible loan to value ratios. Despite a challenging marketplace, our mortgage products have performed extremely well.”

The Society also recently announced plans to substantially increase its activity in the Swansea region, which will see the opening of a high-profile city centre presence in the next 12 months or so, as well as the expansion of its increasingly successful subsidiary Monmouthshire Independent Financial Advisers Ltd (MIFA).

“Reaching the £500m assets figure is a considerable achievement, but clearly the task is to build on this. We will do this by continuing to produce market-leading products, building our online capability and investing in our well established branch network.”

In addition, Mr Lewis said the Society had built a quality commercial and residential buy-to-let loan book. “We have earned a reputation for offering attractive terms to applicants who meet our stringent underwriting criteria, the outcome of which is an extremely well performing loan book.”

The Society was founded by a group of Monmouthshire businessmen on the evening of Saturday, January 23, 1869. On May 7 that year the society granted its first loan, £200, to Mr John Hellier of Tunnel Terrace and £150 to Mr James McBean, a bootmaker of Commercial Road, both of Newport.

Today the Monmouthshire Building Society Group employs more than 100 people and is a major supporter of the community across the region. The Society provides both financial and practical assistance to numerous youth and adult sporting leagues, local events, charity fundraising and arts festivals.

In addition, through its Charitable Foundation which is managed by independent trustees, it also supplied grants to more than 20 locally based organisations during the year, covering a wide spectrum of social needs.


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