Monmouthshire posts record £7.8m profit driven by ‘ buoyant’ housing market

The Newport-based mutual says total assets grew by £101m over the past 12 months to £1.4bn. It added that total mortgage assets had lifted to £1.2bn over the same period. The firm posted a pre-tax profit of £1.6m a year ago.

Monmouthshire Building Society chief executive Will Carroll says: “Our strategic focus has enabled us to evaluate and respond to challenges with a robust approach. This has contributed to successes across our product range, including residential, commercial, buy-to-let and holiday let lending.

W. we could, we delayed interest rates for borrowers and acted fast to pass on rate increases to our savers, who have remained loyal through the low interest rate environment we’ve been operating in for a number of years.”

However, the mutual did announce today (1 August) that it will raise its standard variable rate following recent Bank of England base rate hikes “after careful consideration”.

The moves come as the Bank of England is widely expected to raise the base rate, by perhaps as much as 0.5%, for the sixth time in a row on Thursday.

The Bank has lifted the base rate on five occasions since December from a historic low of 0.1% to 1.25%, a 13-year high, to combat rising inflation, which hit 9.4% in June, setting a fresh 40-year record.

The building society says the last time it passed on base rate rises was in February, and without giving further detail it adds it will lift its standard variable rate on all existing mortgage accounts on 1 September. The standard variable rate on tracker mortgages will increase on 1 August.

The firm, which has a network of branches and agencies across South Wales and the South West of England, reiterated that it is “committed to maintaining a presence on the high street at a time when many other banks and building societies are closing branches”.

However, it adds that it “continues to progress new digitally focused initiatives, including the use of robotics to provide improved services for members”.