Private & Commercial Finance Group (PCF) has reported profit before tax in the twelve months ending 31 March 2016 reached £3.5m (€4.4m), up 67% year-on-year.

The figures showed the return on average assets to have grown to 3.1%, compared to 2.2% in the year ending 31 March 2015.

The group witnessed a 13% increase in new business volumes to £63m, with portfolio growth totalling 12% at £112m.

PCF recorded a 24% rise in business finance lending, while it found that 14% of overall new business originations were from direct channels and existing customers.

The group has applied for a banking licence on 13 May 2016.

Scott Maybury, chief executive of PCF, said: "We are very pleased to deliver another strong set of results as we prepare the Group for the operational and governance requirements of becoming a bank. Profits reached record levels, our portfolio continues to perform excellently and we have exceeded our key targets for ROAA and ROE."

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"We are focussed on the key strategic objective of obtaining a banking licence. In conjunction with the submission of our application we have provided the Regulator with a mobilisation plan which assumes the granting of the licence, subject to mobilisation, by the end of 2016. Up to that point and during that mobilisation phase the quality of our portfolio, the prudence of our existing business model and the availability of adequate facility headroom will enable us to continue to deliver further organic portfolio growth and profitability gains."