Skipton Building Society (SBS) saw a 64% rise in pre-tax profits for the 2012 calendar year, it has announced. The UK’s fourth-largest building society, now celebrating its 160th year in operation, recorded £36.4m profits in 2012, up from £22.2m in 2011. It was also another strong year of lending for SBS with gross lending figures of £1.5bn being recorded, whilst 1,833 first time house buyers were assisted by the mutual. SBS’s Chief Executive, David Cutter, said of the figures: “We are pleased with the further upturn in our performance during 2012.” “This demonstrates we’ve continued to balance appropriate business growth with prudence and providing for our members’ financial needs”. "We are not complacent and keep a watchful eye on future external shocks which could impact the society. "However, against this backdrop, we are confident of achieving further improvement during 2013 and beyond, as the strength of our mortgages and savings division continues to gain momentum and is complemented by the continuing success of our estate agency business,” he concluded. Julian Smith MP said: “It’s testament to the hard work of David Cutter and all at the building society”.