A strong performance in motor and asset finance has helped Close Brothers to release an optimistic interim management statement for the third quarter of its financial year, ending 30 April.
The company’s banking division reported: “Another strong performance, benefiting from continued favourable market conditions and good demand for its lending services. The loan book increased 6% in the quarter to £4bn (Q2: £3.8 bn) reflecting strong new business levels particularly in motor finance, asset finance and property, and has increased 15% in the financial year to date.”
Close Brothers previously reported a motor finance loan book up by 11% at the half-year (ending 31 January) to £968m.
The statement continued: “The net interest margin remains strong, although slightly lower than the first half of the financial year. The credit quality of the loan book continues to improve and the bad debt ratio reduced slightly in the period.”
Close Brothers’ asset management division is in the final stages of its restructuring and made a small loss as expected, and performance in its securities division continued to be affected by difficult market conditions.
However, with the banking division “continuing to see good growth opportunities”, Close Brothers says it still expects to announce a solid result for the year.