Cambridge posts its best-ever lending year

Cambridge Building Society had its best ever year of mortgage lending in 2012, advancing £220m to borrowers.

Last year’s gross lending figure is 52 per cent higher than the £144.5m advanced to customers in 2011.

The society says the increase in lending contributed to its mortgage book growing by 16 per cent, or £122m, to £884m. In 2012, Cambridge lent 70 per cent of its gross lending total through mortgage brokers.

At the end of 2012, 39 of its mortgage accounts, out of a total of 8,290, had arrears of more than 2.5 per cent of the total outstanding balance – 0.47 per cent – with seven mortgage accounts in arrears of more than 12 months. These accounts had outstanding balances of £0.4m and arrears of £0.03m.

The building society group made a pre-tax profit of £900,000, a 55 per cent increase on the £604,000 made in 2011.

Cambridge’s chairman Ian O’Reilly says: “These strong results have been underpinned by two main factors. Firstly, over the last few years the society has invested heavily in developing additional products and services to meet customers’ needs.

“Secondly, during 2012 the society chose to capitalise on favourable mortgage market conditions to increase its lending target, without taking on additional risk. In the first half of 2012, several large retail banks withdrew from the mortgage market, thus allowing more nimble mortgage providers like the Cambridge to seize the opportunity to satisfy the shortfall in housing finance.”