YORKSHIRE Building Society has announced plans to invest £160m to improve services after recording operating profits of £137m for 2012.

The society, which has branches in Stockton, and Richmond and Northallerton, in North Yorkshire, revealed pre-tax profits of £157m and a rise in membership of 3.5m people, which had seen 340,000 new savings accounts opened.

It says the results will allow it to push forward with a five-year programme of improvements to services and products and develop its offices and technology.

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Chris Pilling, chief executive, said: “I am delighted with the whole group’s solid performance, and it is down to the my hugely committed and talented colleagues that we continue to provide the excellent service and value our members expect.

“Our results give us the opportunity to invest significantly and the £160m will include £60m this year to improve back-office infrastructure and staff development.”