West Bromwich Building Society is planning to take on extra staff for the first time since it was brought to the brink of collapse at the height of the financial crisis.
The 164-year-old mutual is hiring more employees as it plans to increase residential mortgage lending. Its workforce, currently at 764, is expected rise up to 800 in the coming year.
But it is continuing its withdrawal from the commercial property market, which it began pulling out of in 2008.
So far it has reduced its loan book for the sector by around £600 million, or around a third.
The society posted a pre-tax loss of £9.4 million for the year to March 31, narrowed slightly on the £9.5 million losses seen a year earlier as it continues to recover from the financial crisis.
It went £48.8 million into the red in 2009 and began a painful restructuring programme resulting in a series of job cuts.
Chief executive Jonathan Westhoff said the most recent annual performance was satisfactory in the light of the “extremely challenging and volatile” economic conditions.
He said its mortgage range has been enhanced and it has completed a modernisation programme across its 36 branches.
A new head office is also being built in West Bromwich town centre.
Mr Westhoff said: “The unpredictable economic climate continues to have a restraining influence on the society’s financial performance and it would be unwise to make any bold predictions about when the country’s recovery might gather pace.
“Nevertheless we are actively investing for the future.”
West Brom was on the brink of collapse in 2009 when it agreed a debt deal to strengthen its finances, converting £182.5 million of debts into a financial instrument, which qualified as high quality capital.
There had been speculation that it would face the fate of other regional mutuals, which have been swallowed up by larger rivals amid the financial crisis.