The ninth largest UK lender (by volume) said 40.5% of its house purchase mortgages (3,112) in the first half of the year were for first-time buyers, aided by offering low rates. It also provides more than a quarter of all offset mortgages in the UK market.
Total mortgage balances were £34bn, fractionally down from £34.1bn in December 2016. YBS reported gross lending of £3.4bn, compared with £3.5bn in June 2016, and calculates its gross lending market share as 2.6%.
Core operating profit rose by 35% to £84.2m, compared with the first half of 2016 (£62.5m) and pre-tax profit was £92.3m, down from £99.9m for the same period.
Mike Regnier, chief executive of Yorkshire Building Society, said: “In the context of a challenging and highly competitive market… we’ve taken a disciplined and measured approach, focusing on our core businesses of mortgages and savings.”
He added: “We’re focusing on the financial services which matter the most to our members – buying a home of their own and saving for their futures. Our market-leading mortgages have helped more than 3,100 people to become homeowners for the very first time, and enabled thousands more to buy the home of their choice or remortgage an existing property.”
Brand and branch network changes announced in January have begun to be implemented, which will result in savings over the medium-long term, added Reigner.
YBS diversified its funding base to support mortgage lending by issuing a EUR 500m bond in April.