Skip­ton boss to keep a ‘ watch­ing brief’ on ref­er­en­dum trends

Yorkshire Post - Business - - FRONT PAGE -

THE HEAD of Skip­ton Build­ing So­ci­ety Group has vowed to keep “a watch­ing brief ” on the EU ref­er­en­dum in the lead up to the his­toric poll.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive David Cut­ter told The York­shire Post: “It is likely to in­tro­duce an el­e­ment of un­cer­tainty. But in terms of our own busi­ness we are al­most en­tirely UK based so I don’t think it will have much of an im­pact.

“But it is a big de­ci­sion and mar­kets never like un­cer­tainty.”

Ster­ling sank to a seven- year low yes­ter­day as com­pa­nies and in­vestors rushed to in­sure them­selves against the chances of a Bri­tish exit from the Euro­pean Union that HSBC said could knock off a fifth of the value of the pound.

The af­ter­math of Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron’s an­nounce­ment of a June 23 ref­er­en­dum on ‘ Brexit’ has driven the worst three days for the world’s fourth most traded cur­rency since the depths of the fi­nan­cial cri­sis in 2008- 09.

Skip­ton Build­ing So­ci­ety’s lat­est an­nual re­sults show it has con­tin­ued its strong re­cov­ery from the cri­sis.

The mu­tu­ally- owned len­der said prof­its rose 2 per cent to £ 150m.

Gross mort­gage lend­ing in­creased by 23 per cent to £ 3.7bn.

Mr Cut­ter said he was pleased with strong, bal­anced growth in both mort­gages and sav­ings.

The group’s es­tate agency divi­sion Con­nells sold 50,526 homes last year with prices ris­ing by an av­er­age of eight per cent on the pre­vi­ous year.

Con­nells ex­pects prices to rise by a sim­i­lar level this year.

Mr Cut­ter said it was “same story” in the hous­ing mar­ket with not enough homes be­ing built and strong buyer de­mand.

Skip­ton is chaired by Mike El­lis, a for­mer fi­nance di­rec­tor at HBOS.

DAVID CUT­TER: ‘ It is a big de­ci­sion and mar­kets never like un­cer­tainty.’

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