We are pleased to announce our financial results for the year ending 30 November 2020. Despite the impact of COVID-19, the Society responded quickly and prudently to all challenges and remained firmly open for business, achieving good financial performance, growing the mortgage book and improving our capital position, whilst continuing to deliver services safely and remotely where possible.
The Society achieved this without furloughing any staff and without the need for any COVID-19 government grants.
- Total profit (before tax) of £1.9m (2019: £1.9m)
- Mortgage completions of £123m (2019: £115m) with a mortgage book growth of 9% to £568m (2019: £523m)
- Savings balances increased by £21m, to a total of £624m (2019: £603m)
Despite a challenging year, the Society’s mortgage assets increased £45m. 92% of these applications came from intermediary partners who remain a vital and valued part of our mortgage business.
We also widened and refocused intermediary distribution channels by forging new relationships with network partners during the year and as such, the new business pipeline at the close of the new financial year was at 65% higher than the previous year.
Alan Harris, Ipswich Building Society Chairman, commented on the Society’s mortgage book:
“We started the year with a strong mortgage performance followed by an initial fall in applications during the early stages of the pandemic. The majority of our mortgage growth was the result of a very buoyant property market following the lifting of the first lockdown restrictions and the introduction of the stamp duty holiday. We carefully managed product offerings to ensure we were able to operationally manage the level of business received and to ensure service levels remained acceptable.”
The Society also assisted with 572 payment deferral applications as a result of the Financial Conduct Authority’s new measures to provide support for those whose finances have been affected by the pandemic.
Looking ahead to 2021, we will continue work to launch a new mortgage origination system.
The Society’s retail savings have grown significantly by £21m with 3,017 new savings accounts opened. Total membership now stands at 68,668, although net new accounts for the year were negative due to the maturity of the first Child Trust Funds and members withdrawing funds to see them through the pandemic.
Proud to have served members throughout the pandemic, our branches remained operational during the year, providing an essential service thanks to the adaptability, resilience and commitment of staff and their valued personal and team contributions.
2021 will also see the Society begin work on a project to provide digital online savings to complement our branch network.
We remained avid supporters of our communities and assisted with Suffolk Community Foundation’s Rebuilding Local Lives appeal, the Hearing Care Centre’s initiative for people with hearing loss, and sponsored Shop Suffolk, an online platform championing local retailers.
Alan Harris reflected on the year:
“In such a difficult year it has been absolutely right that we maintained a focus on governance, operational resilience and sound management. We adopted procedures and found new ways of working together and the Society’s Enterprise Risk Management Framework (ERMF) has been an immense asset as we acted in response to the requirements of both of our regulators and to the pandemic itself.
“We are firmly committed to ensuring the long-term sustainability of the Society and remain dedicated to maintaining the Society as a mutual. In fact, whilst COVID-19 has changed virtually everything for our members, partners, staff and communities, my final reflection on the year is that the long-established mutual model, as represented here at the Ipswich, has shone through in the extraordinary time of the pandemic.”