Monmouthshire Building Society unveils excellent results

28 July 2009

140 Birthday

The Society has marked its 140th year in business by achieving a record level of new retail investments and posting a seven per cent rise in total assets.

Despite the turmoil which continued to impact on the financial markets during the year and the consequent dramatic fall in interest rates, the Society grew its assets from £607m to £650m and continued to invest heavily in its branch network and head office services.

In the twelve months to 30th April 2009, it enjoyed a record net inflow of funds into its retail investment accounts of £34.5 million as savers responded to the Society’s secure track record and launch of a number of new savings products.

During the year the Monmouthshire achieved a profit after tax of £2.0m (2008: £2.6m), a reduction almost completely accounted for by a levy of £510,000 charged to the Society by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, to help support the customers of failed banks.

The Group also completed three landmark developments during the year; the opening of the new banking hall at its John Frost Square head office in Newport, the opening of its first full service branch in Cardiff and the relocation of its Swansea branch into a new purpose-built city centre site.

Group Chief Executive, Mr Andrew Lewis said “The Society has again performed exceptionally well during 2008/09 despite the significant challenges posed by the credit crunch of late 2007 and early 2008, which has turned into the deepest recession in living memory.”

“All areas of the economy have been affected and the speed of the downturn has been extreme. However, the primary concern of the board has been to protect the position of our loyal customer base and to attract the funds to enable continued lending without resorting to the wholesale markets.”

“We have met both these targets and it is particularly pleasing to have witnessed a record net inflow of funds into retail savings accounts of £34.5m,” Mr Lewis said.

Chairman Mr John Farrow added that while a key theme of financial regulation in recent years has been ‘treating customers fairly’, as a local mutual society, the Monmouthshire has always held this as a key part of its ethos.

“However, it is now an explicit part of our operations and I believe that our record growth in retail savings funds during the year has been accomplished precisely because of our focus on customer fairness, coupled with consistently competitive products,” said Mr Farrow.

The Society said its wholly owned subsidiary Monmouthshire Independent Financial Advisers was now benefiting significantly from access to a new customer base created by the opening of its Cardiff branch, while its insurance broking subsidiary Monmouthshire Insurance Services Ltd had also enjoyed healthy growth during its second full year of trading.

Mr Farrow added, “The past 12 months have been difficult, yet we have come through them in excellent shape. However, we do not simply look at our fortunes during a 12-month period.”

“We have succeeded during our 140 years because of our determination and foresight to plan for the future; therefore whilst we see the next few years will continue to present challenges, we know we are extremely well placed to meet them.”

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