Top ten-ranked building society The West Bromwich will today deliver record results for the eighth year in a row.
Its underlying assets rose by an impressive 16.5 per cent to £5.9 billion in the year to 31 March, figures show.
At the same time, the society, which is ranked ninth in the mutal league table, returned a record £27.5 million to its 552,000 members by way of higher interest on savings balances and lower mortgage costs compared with £25 million the previous year.
The organisation drove its management expenses ratio down to 0.80 per cent of assets from 0.98 per cent last time while pre-tax profits rose by 12 per cent to £33,7 million, another record.
Gross lending during the 2004/05 year reached its highest level yet in the West Brom's 156-year history - up by 12 per cent at £1.8 billion.
On the other side of the balance sheet, net savings balances rose by £312 million.
The interest margin, the difference between what the society pays savers and chargers borrowers, a key measure of efficiency, was 1.02 per cent for the group and 0.96 per cent for the core building society business.
Chief executive Andrew Messenger was last night quick to stress that the West Brom's annual figures were an example of the virtues of mutuality.
"For the eighth successive year the society is able to announce record financial results," he said.
"This gives us tremendous pride, as our performance over the past 12 months is a testimony to the society's clear strategy and commitment to customer value in a year characterised by fierce competition, increased regulation and uncertainty over markets and business conditions."
Underpinning the core retail loans and savings business at the West Brom is a growing wholesale business that yields valuable contibutions to the accounts.
The West Bromwich Mortgage Company, which buys and administers mortgage books and has assets exceeding £730 million, chipped in with a pre-tax profit of £5.2 million, up from £3.8 million last time.
West Bromwich Commercial, which invests in prime commercial property, increased its loan book by 73 per cent and saw its pre-tax profits rise to £7.6 million from £6.1 million.
West Bromwich Homes, which owns a 653-strong portfolio of residential properties, made £1.7 million pre-tax (up from £400,000) and contributed £7.7 million to reserves through capital appreciation.
The balance sheet was strengthened further by a debut securitisation of £250 million of assets.
"The investment made in developing the West Brom Group's subsidiary operations has delivered beyond expectations, increasing profitability, as well as giving greater flexibility in how the group steers and sustains performance at an industry-leading level," the company said in its results statement.