West Bromwich Building Society has generated over £1 billion in new net retail savings and attracted over 90,000 new members in the last year, the group’s 160th birthday celebrations heard.
Chief Executive Robert Sharpe told guests at the anniversary that the society had fought back against the downturn by playing to its strengths.
“This is some achievement at a time when the banking system and, indeed, the global economy, has been hit by an unprecedented whirlwind. The West Brom, like the rest of the sector, has had to withstand this turbulence but we have done so by playing to our strengths as a traditional regionally-based building society which puts the interests of our members above everything else.
“It is this outlook that will keep the West Brom a confident and independent building society as we head towards our next 160 years.”
Mr Sharpe said the West Brom had a “very proud and honourable heritage” dating back to its foundation in the Victorian era.
“We are also aware of the countless people, spanning three centuries, who have helped build up this business to the size of operation it is today, an organisation with over 800 staff and nearly 600,000 members.
“There is a thread running through the society’s history which links us back to that earlier time. For me, it is that belief in helping people improve the quality of their lives, which is the very foundation of mutuality.”