SWANSEA BUILDING SOCIETY posted its best-ever set of results in 2021 as it helped to enable more individuals and families to realise their goals than ever before. 

Its total assets, mortgage balances, savings, capital and profits all reached record highs last year. This was partly achieved on the back of keeping its branch offices open for face-to-face and telephone/e-mail contact, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing it to welcome many new savers and mortgage customers.

For the 12 months to December 31, 2021, the Society’s total assets increased by £49.1 million to £463.5 million, a 12% increase on the previous year’s figure. Its mortgage balances grew by £58 million to £360.9 million, a growth rate of 19%. This record growth was driven by the Society completing lending of £114.7 million, an increase of 71% from the £67.1m achieved in 2020.

The Society’s savings balances grew by £44.5 million, a growth rate of 12%, to reach £431.3 million. This increase in retail savings balances helped to fund the rise in net mortgage lending.

The Society’s growth was supported by record profits before tax of £5.2 million, compared with the previous record of £3.3 million made in 2020. This is vitally important to the Society, as it provides the mutual organisation with greater capital reserves to support members to achieve their financial goals.

The Society remains one of the few financial institutions in the UK that receives no wholesale funding or support from the Bank of England in the form of cheap funding. Its balance sheet is funded entirely by customer savings balances and its own capital reserves built up from retained profits over many years.

The Society continued with its ethos of ‘opening not closing’ branches, in contrast to most financial institutions, and kept all branches open for every business day of the year. This benefitted it through the pandemic as more customers sought a personal, friendly and local service, and many savers, worried by economic uncertainty, also looked to spread their assets.

Alun Williams, Chief Executive of Swansea Building Society, said:

“Throughout the pandemic, our customers have rightly looked to the Society to step up when required and I believe that the Society has risen to the challenge and delivered whatever support that our customers have needed, whether that be help and guidance with mortgage payments or access to cash and other payment services. It is our aim to enable individuals and families to realise their goals of a better and more secure future and the way we supported communities throughout the pandemic has fitted well with that.

“The customer is at the heart of everything the Society does. The Society carries out regular customer satisfaction surveys and consistently scores above 90%, even during the various lockdowns and the Covid-19 pandemic. We are pleased that this reflects the positive way that our employees are engaged and know how to meet the needs of our customers.

“As ever, as a mutual, our profits will be reinvested into the business, strengthening our capital base so that we can continue to support our members and offer competitive savings rates and a personal, tailored and common-sense approach to mortgage lending with competitive mortgage products. They will be used for the future development of the Society as we consider further expansion and new branches across Wales. 

“We continue to invest heavily for the future of the business in terms of people, IT and premises as we ready ourselves for a further period of sustainable growth. Our budgets for 2022 indicate we will continue to grow our balance sheet and capital reserves as a result of the increasing volume of mortgage assets that the Society now holds.

“The Economic Environment, particularly the impact of inflation on the UK Economy, continues to be uncertain. Despite this, we do not believe that it will have a significant negative impact on the Society and its business model. The Society will continue to be resilient in meeting future challenges such as potential further interest rate increases along with the increased cost of living and inflation. Our goal is to deliver first class services, whatever delivery channel is chosen by members, whilst growing our balance sheet and capital in a controlled manner.”

The Society will hold its annual general meeting at the Swansea.com Stadium on Thursday, 28 April 2022. Members can vote ahead of that meeting and the Society will donate a pound to Maggie’s cancer charity for every vote received.