According to the results of its financial year ending 31 March 2022, it received £900m in new applications, down from £1.2bn in 2020/21.
Over half, 54 per cent, of its loans were for first-time buyers, up from 48 per cent last year.
Arrears in its core residential book fell to 0.31 per cent from 0.43 per cent. This is lower than the UK Finance average of 0.77 per cent.
Profit before tax for the year was £23.2m, up considerably from £4.7m last year. It attributed this to strong net interest income, fair value gems, the release of residential mortgage provisions that grew during the pandemic, and a lower commercial impairment charge.
Helping borrowers through the crisis
West Brom predicts that the cost of living crisis will put a strain on many customers, so some could “temporarily find meeting their mortgage payments a challenge”.
It committed to doing all it can to support borrowers, adding that it “adopts a compassionate, fair and flexible approach towards borrowers who are unable to meet their payments”.
West Brom said that helping mortgage prisoners was a key focus, having introduced products tailored to this demographic in 2020.
Over the last 12 months it has extended its range and called on the industry to “work together with the government and regulators to find further solutions to help these borrowers”.
Jonathan Westhoff (pictured), West Brom’s chief executive, said: “Inflation and the cost of living crisis is not only at levels not experienced for decades, but it is being driven by everyday basics and necessities such as energy and food essentials. The pressure on incomes that become almost unavoidable will potentially mean that some may temporarily find meeting their mortgage payments a challenge.”
He added that the mutual will look to help its members “beyond having the financial strength to withstand even the most difficult of economic downturns – it is about supporting people to remain in their homes”.
“Beyond that, the future is all about continuing to develop our strategy to ensure the benefits of mutuality continue to accrue to our members and other key stakeholders,” he said.
West Brom’s group finance and operations director Ashraf Piranie to leave
The mutual announced that its group finance and operations director Ashraf Piranie would leave the firm as part of a “planned restructure” of its executive leadership.
As part of the restructure, the group finance and operations director role will no longer exist in its current form. Piranie subsequently told the board he did not wish to consider alternative roles within the new structure.
The mutual will therefore recruit a chief financial officer and Piranie will remain in his post until the appointment and aid in the transition period.
Piranie has worked at West Brom for the past five years. Before that he was deputy chief executive and finance director at Nottingham Building Society.
He was previously joint managing director and finance director for Islamic Bank of Britain, and Alliance and Leicester’s director of finance for the retail bank division.