Our Annual Report: Building resilience, protecting services, supporting customers and community
Looking back over a challenging period, Dudley Building Society’s Chief Executive, Jeremy Wood has reported a satisfactory year in its 2020/21 Report and Accounts. Whilst in contrast to 2019/20 when the Society reported its highest lending volumes, he was pleased to report that, although lending had been restricted during much of 2020, key financial ratios had all improved and that the pandemic had actually inspired a closer relationship between the Society, its customers and the local community.
Jeremy said, “On a business level, whilst the pandemic might have curtailed our lending ambitions during 2020, the Society has weathered the conditions extremely well. We also enabled members new and old to access accounts through an e-savings channel. Since its launch, take up and usage have been very encouraging.
Decisions taken at the start of the pandemic gave the Society increased capacity to maintain services through the branches and continue our policy of providing higher than average rates for savers.
It also meant we could actively engage with borrowers financially affected by the pandemic and offer advice and support to them. Over 500 mortgage payment holidays were put in place during the period and we continue to reach out to borrowers who might be experiencing payment difficulties.
Lending levels are increasing again and thanks to the dedication of our employees, the Society’s whole proposition has proved to be resilient, even in the face of these extraordinary conditions.”
Jeremy continued, “Of particular note, I am pleased to report that amidst the fears we have all had for colleagues, family and friends, the pandemic has helped draw the Society and the community together. An initiative by our employees to find out what they could provide for local hospitals, we were asked for washbags for staff looking after COVID 19 patients who need to shower after every shift. Just one example of the Society’s Giving Back programme which has helped us to foster closer relationships during this most difficult period.
COVID-19 reminded us all how interdependent we are and how we need to continually strive to remember, that in the face of a crisis, we are immeasurably stronger when we join together.”