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Published: 23 February 2024

Our 2023 annual results show we’re continuing to help put home ownership within reach of more people, generation after generation – something made possible by a record 919,000 Society members.

During the year we helped 17,700 first time buyers get on the property ladder - representing half of our new mortgages in 2023. This is an increase from 1 in 3 new mortgages in 2022.

Here’s some of our other highlights from the year:

  • Helped 35,000 people to buy the home they want
  • Welcomed 122,000 more savings members
  • Provided £110m* in our savers’ pockets in extra interest
  • Pre-tax profit of £181.5m (2022: £220.5m), as we’ve invested in our customer experience
  • Overall customer satisfaction remained high at 94% (2022: 93%)

Keep on reading to find out more or read the full press financial results press release.

Going further to help first time buyers

2023 was one of the hardest years to buy a house since we started lending in 1875. Research we commissioned during the year shows home ownership is becoming unaffordable and inaccessible. If things don’t change, we risk creating a generation of lost first time buyers. That’s why we’re driven by a purpose to put home ownership within reach of as many people as possible.

We helped borrowers break down barriers preventing home ownership by introducing innovative new products. Our Home Deposit Saver offers a £500 bonus for savers who apply for and receive a mortgage offer from us^, and we’re delighted this bonus has already been paid out and seen first time buyers find a home.

We were also the first building society to work with Experian, to integrate their ‘Boost’ service into mortgage applications. This means homebuyers could use ‘boosted’ credit scores, which include regular payments such as council tax when applying for a mortgage with us. This has already helped around 50 first time buyers into homes who otherwise may have faced barriers.

And we introduced our First Home Helper online tool, which helps aspiring homeowners understand possible routes towards buying a home.

Providing value to savers – and introducing innovative products

We welcomed 122,000 new savings members and we paid an average interest rate of 0.59% to our savers above the rest of market average. This works out as an extra £110m in extra interest in our savers’ pockets*.

The total amount our members save with us increased by 19% to £20.8bn – which helped us to develop and introduce new purpose-led savings products. The Home Deposit Saver is there to help hopeful homebuyers^, while the Shared Ownership Saver supports current Shared Ownership homeowners to save, enabling them to potentially ‘staircase’ and buy more shares in their home.

Supporting members through tough times

During the ongoing cost of living crisis, we continued to support those who struggled to try and help them stay on the property ladder. We were one of the first building societies to sign the UK Government’s Mortgage Charter and the first lender to launch a simple, digital application process for borrowers seeking help. We didn’t charge arrears fees throughout the year, and we partnered with debt charity Step Change to refer members for free financial support.

We also continued to shield homeowners as the Bank of England base rate increased. Since December 2021 the base rate has increased a total of 5.15%, but our Standard Variable Rate has only increased 2.70% in that time as we’ve tried to limit the impact felt by our mortgage members from rising rates.

Making a difference in our communities

Supporting the communities around us and the causes we care about has always been important to us.

Our four-year partnership with Dementia UK draws to an end this year, but we’re proud to have raised over £800,000 (£267,000 in 2023) for the charity during the partnership.

Through the Leeds Building Society Foundation and Society, member and colleague donations, we awarded over £1 million to community projects in 2023, with the aim of helping people have a safe and secure home. We supported 247 organisations through grants, fundraising and volunteering, with more than one third of colleagues donating 5,900 hours to community groups.

Delivering better customer service

With our total membership growing by 10% in 2023, our financial strength means we’re able to invest in the right areas to improve service for our savings and mortgage members. The Society has made significant investment to improve customer service and digital-led transformation projects. These are with the aim to create more personalised interactions for members and to help deliver engaging customer services. This helped us achieve our highest Customer Experience Index score and a consistent service experience however our members choose to interact with us.

Driven by our purpose

Our purpose to put home ownership within reach of more people, generation after generation drives us forward in everything we do. So it was fantastic to end the year by winning the ‘Leading with Purpose Award’ at the 2023 Business Culture Awards.

Richard Fearon, Chief Executive, said: “Our achievements this year show the Society at its best and, looking ahead, we remain confident in our ability to support savers and borrowers for generations to come. Yet the most important measure of our performance is how many people trust us to support them through the most important interactions and stages of their life and help to achieve their home ownership ambitions.”

This guide is intended as a summary only and does not constitute legal or financial advice given by Leeds Building Society. No reliance should be placed on this guide. We recommend that you seek independent legal advice and/or financial advice if you have any questions or queries.

*The Society paid an average of 3.05% to our savers compared to the rest of market average of 2.46%, which equates to an annual benefit to our savers of £110m. Source: CACI’s CSDB, Stock, January 2023 to December 2023, latest data available. CACI is an independent company that provides financial benchmarking data of the retail cash savings market.

^You will be eligible for a £500 bonus if: i. You have received an offer for a residential purchase mortgage with Leeds Building Society (Re-mortgages are excluded) and ii. You have a minimum of £2,500 in your account and iii. Your account has been open for a minimum of 6 months.

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