Hanley Economic BS announces exceptional results from an exceptional employer

Hanley Economic Building Society has announced exceptional financial results for the year ending 31 August 2021, reporting an outstanding commercial performance whilst maintaining service for members throughout the pandemic and undergoing an extensive systems overhaul.

Underlying total asset growth was 4.39%. However, given very strong levels of liquidity, the Society chose to make its full repayment to the Bank of England’s Term Funding Scheme, this reduced headline growth to 1.17%. Total assets increased to £471.04m at the end of 2021, achieved by solid growth of £20.19m of retail shares.

The Society implemented a planned reduction in new business lending over the course of the year to ensure a smooth transition to a brand new IT core platform. As such, mortgage balances decreased by £8.64m in the year to £366.61m (2020: £375.25m), with gross lending of £69.03m (2020: £93.63m).

The Society continued to support the intermediary market in its core specialist areas of self-build, first-time buyers and retirement interest only. First-time buyer activity, including shared ownership, accounted for 40% of all new business lending. Retirement interest only lending grew by 114% compared to the previous year and self-build lending increased by 30% year-on-year. Competitive products, flexible criteria and outstanding customer service were the top three reasons why brokers chose to place business with the Society – as recorded in the latest Smart Money People intermediary survey.

In an extremely challenging year, the Society was again recognised as an exceptional employer, achieving a top-fifty place at the Sunday Times Best Companies awards in its category. The Society was also highly commended for finishing at number 11 of all financial services firms in the UK.

Mark Selby, CEO at Hanley Economic Building Society, commented: “Against a backdrop of extraordinarily demanding circumstances, the team have achieved an outstanding commercial performance whilst maintaining service for members, borrowers and intermediary partners throughout the pandemic.

“From a mortgage perspective, there has been a deliberate slowing of advances aligned with a fervent desire to maintain a presence in the specialised lending arenas, especially in self-build. Despite temporarily halting new lending to overhaul our mortgage processing platform back in February – and amidst ongoing system upgrades – we have managed to develop our product portfolio and remained active in the residential, self-build and RIO markets. A move which underlines our continued commitment in helping both aspiring first-time buyers to get onto the property ladder and in supporting existing homeowners with their remortgage aspirations.

“We have also made significant additions to our broker panel throughout the financial year, have plans in place to establish stronger intermediary relationships and to further expand our product range in the year ahead. This combination – alongside the completion of our systems overhaul in early 2022 – will result in an even greater number of intermediary partners being able to access a new, improved and fully functional online system which will help speed up and simplify the application process as we look to extend our lending volumes over the course of the next year.”