Two medium-sized building societies pledge to remain mutual

Two medium-sized building societies, Leeds & Holbeck and Skipton, yesterday pledged to remain mutual as they announced increases in profit. Leeds & Holbeck made pounds 8.27m before tax last year, an increase of more than pounds 4m. Skipton made pounds 31.76m, against pounds 27.23m in 1995.

Ian Ward, chief executive of Leeds & Holbeck, said the society planned to remain a leading independent building society as it believed this was in the best long-term interests of its borrowing and investing members. He added that the cost/income ratio of 39.8 per cent and cost to asset ratio of 0.86 per cent were lower than almost all other banks and building societies.