A BUILDING society has reported "significant progress" over the last 12 months after releasing its latest financial performance results.

Darlington Building Society has reported a strong financial performance in the 12 months to December 2018.

Building on the strong foundations of its 163-year history, bosses say the award-winning society has maintained its robust financial position with results showing asset growth alongside steady profits and higher general reserves.

They also say the society has made significant progress across the business by investing in both its online offering for members and in upgrading its branch network, based in County Durham, Tees Valley and North Yorkshire areas.

Net profit after tax was reported at £1.56m in the 12 months to the end of 2018, and the society ended the year with a strong capital position of £44.1m.

Figures also showed the society had an average customer satisfaction scores of 97.7 per cent, with over 19,060 people benefitting.

Total Assets also grew to more than £611m.

Darlington Building Society was also recently named as Best Specialist Mortgage Provider at the British Bank Awards, described as the Oscars of the banking world, which took place last month.

Jack Cullen, chairman of Darlington Building Society, said: “2018 has been another successful year for the Society, our members, our colleagues and our community.

"There were a number of real highlights throughout the year and the delivery of our online platform marked a real step forward in improving the services to our members.

"In addition, we commenced a programme of investment in our branch network, which will continue through 2019.

“As well as the recent success at the British Bank Awards, the Society claimed seven other awards during 2018 and this demonstrates a real strength across the business.”

Bosses at the society, which has an ethos of sharing through its commitment to share five per cent of its net profits after tax in the area it serves, shared more than £80,000 with 19,060 people and 88 organisations throughout the year.

Staff have also spent 111 days volunteering with local organisations.

Earlier this year, Darlington Building Society announced it will close its Cockerton facility on April 18 as part of a development scheme to invest in other branches.

The organisation said the closure was prompted by performance analysis and that the decision had not been made lightly.

The organisation has nine branches across the area including Bishop Auckland, Stockton, and Middlesbrough.

It is planning to refurbish its Yarm branch after renovating its Guisborough and Barnard Castle branches in the hopes of making them brighter and easier to use.

Staff employed at the society’s Cockerton branch have also been offered job offers at other branches.