Saffron Building Society, the mutual serving East Anglia, today publishes its 2009 results, confirming another stable and successful year, despite a challenging economic environment.
Saffron’s 2009’s operating profit grew to £2m; almost double the £1.1m profit of 2008. This profit reflects careful management of the Society’s cost base; 2009 saw the Society’s Management Expenses ratio decrease for the third year running to 0.84% – reflecting a £200,000 reduction in spending through 2009.
Saffron also reports industry-leading arrears figures. The Society arrears ratio has reduced to 0.09% – far below the Building Societies’ average of 1.16%.
Chief Executive Andy Golding said: "I am extremely pleased to report that in 2009 Saffron has succeeded in absorbing the impact of the financial downturn and delivered a strong financial performance for the year.
"Despite a year of low interest rates and many other economic challenges, Saffron has remained well-capitalised and can ensure solvency even under dramatic financial scenarios. As a risk-averse business, we have taken care not to over-diversify in the pursuit of profit; and are now being rewarded for both the relative simplicity of our business model, and the continued reduction of our costs.
"Our mortgage team have worked tirelessly to help borrowers in difficulty, creating a culture of personalised support and openness which has not only reduced our overall arrears to an industry-leading standard, but drawn numerous thanks and compliments from the borrowers we have assisted.
"The Board planned a reduction in mortgage lending in the year due to the macro economic uncertainty and the minimal reduction in the Society’s asset base reflects the Society’s robust approach to risk management on behalf of its members.
"Security and sustainability will continue to come first, even at the expense of the Society’s growth and profit if needs be. We are committed to protecting those who entrust us with their money; having celebrated our 160th Anniversary in 2009, we are determined to run a Society which benefits our members for generations to come".