LONDON Feb 10 Britain's Nationwide Building
Society said that pretax profit for the first nine
months of its financial year fell by 16 percent year on year as
increasing competition and low interest rates continued to
Nationwide, Britain's second-biggest mortgage provider,
boosted lending to homeowners by 11 percent to 26.2 billion
pounds ($32.8 billion) in the nine months to Dec. 31 thanks to
rising deposits from its savers.
However, the net interest margin, which reflects the gap
between what the society pays savers and what it charges
borrowers, declined to 1.33 percent from 1.56 percent in the
same period a year earlier and Nationwide said it expects low
rates to continue to squeeze margins.
In a further sign of the worsening outlook for the British
economy, Nationwide said it booked 111 million pounds of
provisions against losses on loans for the nine months, up from
9 million pounds in the same period the previous year.
($1 = 0.7996 pounds)
(Reporting by Lawrence White; Editing by David Goodman)