The Society sought to balance the interests of members and maintain sustainable growth against a background of continued increases to the Bank of England base rate and a cost of living crisis.
During the year, the Society protected borrowers by increasing the standard variable rate (SVR) by 2%, whilst the Bank of England base rate increased by 3.5%. It added to its team of specialists to speak to members struggling with mortgage repayments, providing tailored support for them. The Society has also signed up to the Mortgage Charter, launched in July 2023. Savers were also supported with an average increase of interest of 2.1% across its product range, helping to achieve a 17% increase in retail savings deposits during the financial period.
The Society continued to deliver on its ESG (Environmental, Social, Corporate Governance) commitments. Through its Environmental focus, it extended its range of energy efficient home purchase and remortgage products, offering improved affordability on A and B rated Energy Performance Certificate properties. The Society also reduced its own carbon footprint with a 69% reduction across Scope 1 and 2 emissions.
Over the year, the Society invested in member services and colleagues, with a new branch and administrative hub opening on Queen Street, complemented by a complete modernisation of the Newport Head Office. The new administration hubs have supported the Society’s reduction of 69% across Scope 1 and 2 emissions* through installing more energy efficient services and maximising usable office space, alongside enhancing a revised agile working approach, designed to give colleagues more choice and flexibility with location working.
The Society’s ‘Branching into Communities’ initiative benefited 26 grassroots groups through a branch sponsorship fund, and a further 49 groups received a total of £44,000 in donations from the Society’s independent Charitable Foundation. Colleagues also donated 1,500 volunteering hours in their communities. And, a further £7,000 was donated to Shelter Cymru, the Society’s charity partner, through colleague and member fundraising.
Chief Executive Officer, Will Carroll said,
“The Society delivered on both purpose and performance for the year ended 30th April 2023, supporting our members and colleagues where possible throughout the period.
We invested in services that add value for our members and colleagues, including our digital capability, branches and working environments. Our new MBS app is scheduled to launch early 2024, and we’re one of a few building societies using automated solutions for repetitive processes.
We will continue to be led by our core purpose as we move forward with our ambition to become a modern mutual for the benefit of our current and future members.”
Roger Turner, Chair of the Board comments “As a Board, we are very conscious that our members, colleagues, and communities are facing increased pressure on their finances, alongside a future that can feel unpredictable and uncertain.
“The Society has been swift to adapt to these economic conditions, ensuring continued support for members, colleagues, and communities through this challenging time.
“Our agile approach has enabled the Society to progress strategic priorities for the benefit of its members, communities and colleagues whilst also ensuring long-term sustainability.”
For more information, read our 2022 - 2023 Annual Report Corporate Governance | Monmouthshire Building Society | Monmouthshire Building Society (monbs.com)