Record year for Universal

Universal Building Society increased its assets by 8% to £467m in 2002, reflecting a year of record levels of new business both in terms of mortgages and investments.

Net profits increased 35% and mortgage arrears levels declined by 53%.

Universal Direct – the telephone and postal arm of Universal – performed particularly well thanks to a range of highly competitive products released throughout 2002.

Kevin Robinson, Universal&#39s chief executive, says: “One of our key corporate objectives was to achieve a level of profit to allow us to price our products competitively within the marketplace. This has been achieved with the help of improved efficiency levels and innovative cost control.

“Although attractively priced products are important to our members, it is our aim to provide a service that goes beyond this.

“As our customers expectations rise and change, we must not only get better at what we do already but also look to revitalise ourselves with the products and services we provide. This has been achieved during 2002 through the utilisation of new technology to improve our customer relationship management facilities and to deliver a wider choice of products and services then ever before.

“With such encouraging results and the support of a dynamic and innovative management team I believe Universal is in great shape to meet the challenges 2003 will bring.”