Vernon Building Society has had another successful year in spite of a difficult market.
The society based in Stockport helped 250 home buyers in 2016, including 26 first-time buyers.
Mike Hanson, chief executive of the Vernon, said: “The changing market leads to more complex personal financial situations.
“We are seeing greater demand for mortgages into – and in – retirement, more people with multiple sources of income, more self-employed and contract workers and worryingly, greater levels of unsecured debt.
“We have a responsibility to help local people buy houses and we will continue to develop new and innovative products to help meet this changing demand.”
Total assets have grown from £267.8m in five years since 2012 to £300.2m, including £233m in mortgages.
The society has also posted an annual pre-tax profit of just over £1.3m, an increase of 8% on the previous year.
Hanson explained ‘as a mutual society, the Vernon does not have shareholders to whom profits have to be distributed as dividends but instead is focused on providing the best value to its customers, who as members own the society’.
He adds: “Because of this the Society has been able to able to continue to protect the interests of both borrowers and savers in difficult markets.”
Hanson also noted that in order to safeguard its future ‘the society is investing significantly in further developing and strengthening its risk management techniques and further strengthening its capital position’.
The Vernon, which employs 74 people across six branches, also enjoyed a high customer service rating, with 91% of members finding staff to be helpful, professional and efficient.
The Society awarded £10,000 to 20 groups in Stockport through the Vernon Jubilee Fund in 2016, taking the total handed out since 2012 to £50,000.
Plans for 2017 include an additional bonus of up to £1,000 for savers with a Vernon Help to Buy: ISA.