Nationwide pre-tax profits up 34% to £802m

Outgoing CEO Graham Beale leaves the business in good shape
Outgoing CEO Graham Beale leaves the business in good shape

Nationwide has posted a 34 per cent increase in pre-tax profits as it benefited from the continued boom in mortgage lending.

The nation’s biggest building society said pre-tax profits for the six months to the end of September were £802 million, up from £598m on the same period last year.

It was helped by a £1.8 billion (14%) increase in its residential mortgage lending, taking the total amount lent to customers to a record £14.9 billion.

It comes a day after the Council of Mortgage Lenders revealed that borrowing by British homeowners had reached its highest level since 2008.

Outgoing chief executive Graham Beale said the building society had also increased savings balances by £2.6bn and opened more than a quarter of a million new personal current accounts.

“This has been our best ever half-year of mortgage lending, along with a strong inflow of savings and the opening of over a quarter of a million new current accounts,” he said.

“Our first-half performance reflects the growing strength and security of the society, with all of our core product areas delivering standout results.”

Earlier this week, Nationwide revealed that BT Openreach chief executive Joe Garner would become its new chief executive next year.

He will replace Mr Beale, who announced his intention to leave Nationwide earlier this year.