This is the reporting season for Building Societies. The Progressive Building Society is the larger by far of Northern Ireland's two local Building Societies. With assets of £1,628 million it is some thirty eight times larger than its regional neighbour the City of Derry Building Society. This places it at number ten in the Building Society size rankings. The City of Derry is the smallest of the forty six societies.
In common with most of its competitors the Progressive is having to make substantial provisions to cover potential losses on its mortgage book. In 2012 these provisions amounted to £7,170,000, up from £5,842,000 the previous year. That said the Society was still able to increase its reserves by £1,376,000. New mortgage lending was up almost 18% to £125 million and net mortgage assets had a very modest increase from £1,290 million to £1,307 million. Unlike its smaller rival, savings balances fell, (by £14m) and this is reflected in the overall assets which saw a decline from £1,655,242,000 to £1,628,432,000.
What may be an interesting development is in the change of directors during 2012. Mr Michael Parrott was co-opted onto the Board during the course of the year and as required he is now offering himself for election. Mr Parrott is a Chartered Public Finance Accountant by profession, but of much more relevance is that he is the Deputy Chief Executive and Finance Director of Market Harborough Building Society (assets £410 million). Is it possible that this move presages a further, "consolidation," in the Building Society movement?