Cheshire blames fall in assets on restructuring

Cheshire has blamed a 1.7% downturn in mortgage assets in 2006 on commercial lending redemptions and restructuring during the previous year.

The society’s group balance sheet showed mortgages fell from £3,696.7m in 2005 to £3,632m in 2006. But pre-tax profits from continuing operations and before exceptional items were up by 20.4% to £12.4m, while the interest margin was maintained at 0.88%.

Andy Russell, finance director at Cheshire, says: “In 2005 we went through organisational restructuring so 2006 was about embedding that. Several large commercial lending redemptions brought down the figures for 2006 but residential lending continues to remain healthy into 2007 and our savings balances are increasing.”

Norwich and Peterborough also posted its financial results for 2006 last week, showing total mortgage assets up 8% to £2.8bn and new mortgage advances up from £677m in 2005 to £809m. Group pre-tax profit were also up 26% to £20.2m.