Nationwide reports 34% increase in gross residential lending

Nationwides half-year results show gross residential lending was up 34% to 14.5bn from the corresponding period last year.

Net lending was up almost 50% to 5.9bn, the number of mortgage sales were up 17%, and the society appeared in mortgage best buy tables 272 times between April and September 2006.

The results show that Nationwide’s three month plus arrears cases are less than one third of the industry average at 0.25% compared to 0.90%,

Its average LTV of new lending was 59% compared to 55% up to April 4 2006.

Philip Williamson, chief executive of Nationwide, says: “In a competitive mortgage market, we have achieved very high levels of lending with gross residential lending of 14.5bn, up 34% on the corresponding period last year.

Developments such as our online mortgage application facility will help us maintain momentum in residential mortgage lending.

Commercial lending has performed particularly strongly, increasing by 67% to 3.6bn. We have achieved this growth while maintaining our focus on quality business.

The society also reported a 20.1% increase in underlying profit before tax to 306m, record reported profit before tax up 32.1% to 336.4m, and total assets up 7.5% to 129.6bn.

Williamson says: It has been an outstanding first half to this financial year.

We have delivered substantial benefits to members and our profits are higher than ever before.

We are providing consumers with a real alternative to the banks.

Our reputation for providing great value products and services has been underlined by the fact that we have appeared in best-buy tables on no less than 1,075 occasions in the half-year.

He adds: This is my last results announcement as chief executive before handing over the reins to Graham Beale.

Nationwide, as a thriving mutual business, is in superb shape.

We are extremely well placed to meet the challenges ahead.

These are exciting times for the society, particularly as we prepare for the forthcoming merger with the Portman, and I have no doubt that our members will continue to prosper under the new management team.”