The Society said the growth was underpinned by record mortgage lending growth. Darlington Building Society has hailed the strongest performance in its 167-year history against the backdrop of global economic turmoil.
The society delivered a record pre-tax profit of £5m for 2022, up from the previous year’s £3.2m, along with its highest ever total assets of £833m, up from £752m. It said the growth was underpinned by record mortgage lending growth of £97m and growth in savings balances of £69m.
It said it had also reinvested significantly in the future of the business, while helping local communities, rewarding members and supporting staff during the cost-of-living crisis, resulting in operating profit of £2.2m.
In response to Bank of England interest rate rises, the society increased rates on its variable savings book a number of times in 2022, with its average savings book rate coming 0.55% higher than the market average. It said it also did not pass on the full extent of bank base rate increases and re-positioned its mortgage standard rate (SVR) to finish the year 0.64% lower than the market average.
The society donated £268,000 in grants to local good causes in County Durham, Teesside and North Yorkshire, due to its annual commitment to invest 5% of its profits into the local communities around its nine branches. More than £660,000 has now been donated to good causes since the 5% Pledge was introduced in 2017. Colleagues also carried out 1,136 volunteering hours supporting and raising money for local charities, clubs and environmental schemes.
In his annual report ahead of the annual general meeting on April 24, chief executive Andrew Craddock said: “Following the pandemic-related disruption in 2020 and 2021, I was expecting 2022 to start to see a return to more normal conditions. However, 2022 has again been a challenging and volatile operating environment. International supply chain disruption, and the war in Ukraine, have resulted in rising inflation, followed by the Bank of England increasing interest rates.
“2022 has also witnessed considerable political upheaval in the UK and the death of The Queen after 70 years on the throne. In the context of this environment, I am delighted with the strong performance of the society.”
While making further investments in technology to give members greater choice, Mr Craddock said the Society remained “absolutely committed” to its branch network.
The society now has 189 colleagues, an increase of 53 on the previous year, and during the year the society made a payment of £1,000 to each member of staff to support them during the cost-of-living crisis.
Chairman Jack Cullen added: “We will continue to optimise, not maximise, our profitability, and will maintain an exceptional level of financial strength to provide the capacity to invest for the benefit of our members. Members can draw substantial confidence from the fact that we have continued to show great resilience in testing times, underpinned by the mutual values of shared strength and co-operation.”