Nationwide Says Pretax Profit Rises 3.4% on Consumer Business

Nationwide Building Society, the U.K.’s largest customer-owned lender, said full-year pretax profit rose 3.4 percent as higher impairments in its property finance business offset growth at its consumer unit.

Pretax profit for the year through April 4 rose to 210 million pounds ($318 million) from 203 million pounds a year earlier, the Swindon, England-based company said in a statement today. Pretax profit at the consumer business rose 76 percent to 824 million pounds, while commercial loan impairments jumped to 493 million pounds from 247 million pounds.

Co-Operative Bank Plc said earlier this month that it doesn’t need a government bailout after Moody’s Investors Service cut the lender’s rating to junk status on the potential for losses on real estate loans and low levels of provisions for future impairments. The customer-owned lender abandoned a bid for 632 Lloyds Banking Group Plc (LLOY) branches in April.

“The weak economy has continued to undermine the performance of our commercial real estate portfolio, which has been impacted by weak tenant demand,” Nationwide Chief Executive Officer Graham Beale said in the statement.

-- Editors: Simone Meier, Mark Bentley

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