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Newcastle BS ups mortgage lending and margins

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  • 27/02/2020
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Newcastle BS ups mortgage lending and margins
Newcastle Building Society completed almost £1bn worth of mortgage lending in 2019 as the mutual saw strong growth in its mortgage business while operating profit rose 11 per cent to £16m.

 

The society completed £931m of gross mortgage lending last year, up 79 per cent from the £520m in 2018.

It was also one of the few lenders to improve its net interest margin despite the intense market competition, lifting it to 0.95 per cent from 0.92 per cent, which resulted from reduced funding costs and increased lending.

However, the mutual noted that its capital ratios, which reflect the amount of cash it holds to offset its lending, fell due to this increased lending but remained above the regulatory limits.

The net increase in customer loans and advances was £523m overall and included a £575m net increase in core residential, of which £94m was in buy to let, it noted.

Arrears remained low with the number of mortgages in three months’ arrears or more at 0.34 per cent, up slightly from 0.30 per cent.

 

‘Brokers vital to lending’

“The majority of our mortgage lending is done through UK wide networks of brokers and this channel of distribution has been significant in driving our record levels of mortgage lending,” said chief executive Andrew Haigh (pictured).

“We actively listen to our brokers to better understand their needs and during the course of 2019 we increased our broker intermediaries team and introduced a product transfer facility and an online selection tool.

“We launched custom build and advance payment self-build propositions alongside launching buy to let in Scotland,” he added.

The results statement noted: “Competition in the mortgage market has been fierce throughout 2019, with the added challenge of Brexit uncertainty affecting consumer confidence.

“Despite these headwinds, the society’s [net] mortgage lending hit a record high of £575m, an increase of £415m on 2018.

“This lending has been achieved within margin forecasts and in the context of a flat mortgage market.”

 

Buy-to-let changes

Newcastle Building Society has also cut rates on its buy-to-let (BTL) mortgage range and been added to Mortgage Intelligence’s lender panel.

Rates on its fee assisted buy-to-let mortgages have been reduced by 0.20 per cent with end dates extended across the range.

The two- and five-year mortgages come with no fees to pay, free standard valuation, £500 cashback and 10 per cent overpayments permitted per annum.

The society’s interest coverage ratio is 145 per cent at a rate of four per cent for product terms of five years or more and there is also no maximum age for borrowers on BTL products.

 

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