SILSDEN-based Ecology Building Society has announced a second successive year of record profits.

The ethical-finance pioneer last year recorded profits after tax of £1.073 million – up from £1.022m in 2018.

Its performance made the Ecology one of the most profitable building societies in the UK, based on a percentage of mean assets.

Mortgage lending saw a 14.6 per cent increase, for the year ending December 31.

Gross lending totalled £43.5m, compared to £38.4m the previous year.

Savings balances rose from £166m in 2018 to £185.3m last year.

And the society’s total assets in 2019 stood at £198m - up from £177.9m the previous year.

The Ecology’s ethical savings accounts fund mortgages where the adoption of ‘green’ building practices is supported.

Last year, 90 per cent of mortgages were for residential properties – including new energy-efficient homes, renovations and shared ownership – and the remainder for community-led housing and non-residential.

Chief executive, Paul Ellis, said the results marked “another strong year of sustainable growth” for the building society.

He added: “They demonstrate that the time is now for finance which benefits people and our planet.

“Our members can be assured that their money is delivering a real contribution to the increasing efforts to tackle the climate crisis.

“Looking ahead, while we won’t be immune to the challenging economic impacts of Covid-19, our financial strength gives us the resilience required to maintain our focus on lending that improves our environment throughout this year and beyond.

“We are delighted to see the elevated level of interest in collaborative action to support a sustainable green recovery.

“The recognition of the urgent need to accelerate the retrofit of existing homes is welcome – and the society’s strong pipeline of lending for low-impact homes will add to the benefits of this focus in 2020 and beyond.

“Given this, we have joined calls for the Government to quickly deliver the economic stimulus required to create green jobs and a just transition to a low-carbon economy.”

Last year, the Ecology – the first building society to achieve the Fair Tax Mark – was recognised twice in the Finance for the Future awards.