The mutual’s results for the year ending November 2014 confirmed mortgage assets fell £11m from £485m to £474m after a two-year IT project and the Mortgage Market Review coincided. The mutual decided to concentrate on service quality over new business, it said.
Over the course of the year the society based in the east of England achieved a customer satisfaction score of 90% overall. However, savings balances fell £10m to £539m last year.
Meanwhile, the building society increased total profits before tax to £3.8m, up from £3.2m in 2013.
Paul Winter, chief executive, Ipswich Building Society, (pictured) said: “This was a year of success in unusual circumstances.
“Maintaining healthy levels of profit allows us to build a strong capital base which in turn supports reinvestment back into the business. Our mortgage lending remains substantially funded by retail deposits from members and I’m pleased to say that 2015 will be marked by a steady return to the mortgage market. We’ve made a start already but there’s plenty of innovation to come.”
Ipswich launched its lending drive to serve ‘mortgage prisoners’ last month, or borrowers who fail to meet tougher affordability requirements after the Mortgage Market Review (MMR).
In a bid to avoid trapped borrowers, the regulator created a set of transitional rules to allow lenders assessing borrowers with mortgages dated before 26 April to offer leniency on the affordability assessment.
Winter said: “Our manual underwriting process ensures we can offer fully compliant mortgages to the likes of the self-employed, self-builders, first-time buyers and older generations.”