"Nationwide has traded strongly over the first six months of the year, increasing gross mortgage lending by 17% to £17.5 billion, a market share of 14.5%."
Nationwide has reported record mortgage lending for the first six months of 2016, with gross mortgage lending increasing by 17% to £17.5 billion and net mortgage lending up 46% to £6 billion.
Nationwide's results show that it has helped a record number of first-time buyers, up 50% to 38,600, and accounted for one-third of UK net mortgage lending over the past five years.
In total, the Society lent £14.7 billion to homeowners, almost a quarter more than in the same period last year.
Statutory profit fell to £696 million from £802 million in H1 2015, "in line with expectations", while underlying profit fell from £801 million to £615 million.
Nationwide attributed the drop to a reduction in net interest income due to "the prevailing low interest rate environment, competition in the mortgage market and the active decisions we have taken to support savers and variable rate mortgage members".
The Society has also seen a growth in underlying costs and an increase in impairment provisions which have been partially offset by a gain of £100 million from the disposal of the Society’s stake in Visa Europe during the period.
Joe Garner, Nationwide’s Chief Executive, said: “Despite recent economic uncertainty Nationwide Building Society has continued to serve the needs of its members just as we have for generations. This has resulted in record current account openings and mortgage lending and a strong growth in member deposit balances, driven by the steps we took to protect savers from reducing interest rates.
“As a building society we continue to focus on the needs of our members, which is why we are testing the viability of whether we can use technology to bring financial services in people in communities left without a bank starting with a pilot in Glastonbury in Somerset.”
Nationwide Finance Director, Mark Rennison, added: “Nationwide has traded strongly over the first six months of the year, increasing gross mortgage lending by 17% to £17.5 billion, a market share of 14.5%. Our focus on offering attractive products and rewarding loyal savers has resulted in member deposit balances increasing by £4.7 billion.
“Statutory profit for the period was £696 million and underlying profit was £615 million, both of which include a gain of £100 million on the disposal of our stake in Visa Europe. Our profit performance has reduced in line with our expectations and reflects continued margin pressure due to the prevailing low interest rate environment and the conscious decisions we have taken over recent years to support our members."