Newport-based Monmouthshire Building Society has seen its total assets fall to £1,053.8m in 2017 from a record high of £1,073.5m in 2016.

The society's annual report has also shown a fall in profit after tax in 2017. The 2016 profit was £6.4m which fell to £4.6m for 2017.

The report, which the society said showed 'another sound financial performance' revealed that its reserves have grown to £61m and lending for the year has increased to £141.2m.

Haydn Warman, the chairman of MBS, said: “The Monmouthshire performance for the year has to be seen in the context of a continuing low interest rate environment, economic uncertainty, and a fiercely competitive mortgage market.

“Our annual results demonstrate that the society is well equipped to cope with these challenges.

“We remain fully committed to our regional franchise as a strong and independent building society offering our members a first class service and a range of competitive products.

“We have continued to pursue the concept of mutuality by balancing the interests of both investing and borrowing members as equitably as possible within the framework of market forces."

Mr Warman said: "The society is currently performing a review of its member experience from initial onboarding right through the entire product life cycle.

“This will ensure it continues to offer its members products tailored to its members’ needs, along with a focus on delivering the best possible service.”

He said: “The society is committed to investing in its information technology systems with a priority of enhancing our members’ experience.

“And underpinning the development and successful execution of the society’s strategy are the people in the business, the culture and their values and capability.

“Ongoing investment in training and resourcing will ensure that there is the right capability at all levels within the business to successfully implement the strategy.”

The chairman said this strategy will enable the society to continue its focus on keeping its Statement of Financial Position safe, secure, and fit for purpose for both the regulatory environment of today, and that of the future.

“Our capital position is more than sufficient to meet our regulatory requirements.”

The society's chief executive James Bawa stepped down from his role last month on the grounds of ill health after nine months in the job.

Finance director Will Carroll took on the role of interim chief executive. He has been finance director and a member of the board for the past seven years.