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Progressive completes the facelift to its head office in Belfast


Top team: Progressive’s John Trethowan and Darina Armstrong

Top team: Progressive’s John Trethowan and Darina Armstrong

Top team: Progressive’s John Trethowan and Darina Armstrong

Northern Ireland's biggest home-grown lender, Progressive Building Society, has completed a facelift of its head office in Belfast.

The lender said it had also created 13 new jobs, as well as redeveloping the offices at Wellington Place - all part of a £2m high street investment programme in its branches.

It celebrated a century in savings and mortgages last year, and announced post-tax profits of £9.85m.

Progressive also grew its new mortgage lending in 2014 by 30% to £153m.

Chief executive Darina Armstrong said: "At Progressive we are proud of our strong and respected credentials as Northern Ireland's largest independent home grown mortgage lender and savings provider.

"The investment in our head office and the new jobs we have created are a reflection of the success of our strategy of supporting our 12 local branches and directly engaging with our members and potential customers in towns and cities across Northern Ireland."

She said that the society's investment in bricks and mortar contrasted with the approach of other lenders.

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"While other organisations are pulling out of the high street, we continue to invest with a new branch in Arthur Square, Cornmarket in Belfast and a series of new locations or branch redevelopments over the last 15 months including Ballymena and Derry."

She said confidence in the housing market had grown in the last 18 months, and she said the society forecast "sustainable growth" into early next year.

Ms Armstrong added: "As Northern Ireland's only building society, Progressive has been serving the people of Northern Ireland for more than 100 years and our head office has been a symbol of our commitment to support our members through the good times and the not so good."