UK's Nationwide reports 6% profit fall as Brexit bites

Updated / Friday, 9 Feb 2018 07:45

The UK's second-biggest mortgage provider posted a profit of £886m for the nine months to December 31, down from £946m a year earlier

Britain's Nationwide Building Society today reported a 6% fall in nine-month statutory pretax profit, hurt by lower consumer spending following the UK's vote to leave the European Union. 

The UK's second-biggest mortgage provider posted a profit of £886m for the nine months which ended on December 31, down from £946m a year earlier. 

While the UK economy remained resilient immediately after the country's June 2016 EU vote, there were signs of a slowdown in 2017, it said. 

"Household spending, a key driver of growth, lost some momentum. Retail sales and car registrations have slowed and consumer confidence has also softened," Nationwide's chief executive Joe Garner said. 

Subdued economic activity and a squeeze on household budgets will continue to pressure house prices and profits, Nationwide said. 

Nationwide said its net interest margin, or the gap between what it pays savers and what it charges borrowers, remained steady at 1.33% but would likely fall this financial year and next. 

Its cost to income ratio rose to 59.6% from 57.6% on higher defined benefit pension costs.