The society’s mortgage book grew by £182.2m to reach £8,176m, the first time on that its mortgage assets have exceeded £8bn.
And as the pandemic impacted homeowners’ financial stability, the society granted more than 15,000 mortgage payment deferrals.
The near 50 per cent fall in profit before tax, year-on-year, from £39.6m to £19.9m was expected, the society said, because of ongoing investment in technology in its mortgage and savings divisions.
Provisions to cover potential future losses caused by the economic downturn were increased by £9.1m.
Chief executive Julie-Ann Haines said: “During the first half of the year we had to deal with a number of operational challenges, not least enabling around 800 colleagues from our head office to work effectively from home.
“The strength and resilience of our business has allowed us to keep everyone in employment and not to furlough anyone.”
Haines said the investment in IT had enhanced the society’s online security, making members’ accounts more secure.
A new web chat function has been added to help customers deal with the society and the number of products available to customers online has been increased.
“We expect the economic environment to remain challenging in 2021 and beyond as the impact of the pandemic continues to be felt,” said Haines.
She added: “Our strategy and long-term priorities remain unchanged and, while our immediate focus remains on helping members, colleagues and communities through these uncertain times, we are committed to developing and growing our business in a safe and sustainable way.”