Cronin was commenting in the aftermath of Shawbrook publishing its half-year financial results for the period ending 30 June 2020.
Cronin said: “It is crystal clear that the bank is performing ahead of peers in an operational efficiency context – with a material 8% year-on-year reduction in regular operational expenditure observed in the period.”
“Reflecting ‘careful cost management, increased automation and reduced operational expenses during the lockdown as we moved our whole workforce into remote home working,’ Cronin said quoting Shawbrook’s CFO.
Goodbody is an Ireland-based stockbroking firm. is also an institutional brokers, corporate finance house and a wealth management firms.
In a statement earlier this week, the bank confirmed it had set aside £45.8m of provisions to provide for potential future loan impairments caused by Covid-19.
Shawbrook reported it had also granted a total of 15,900 payment holidays to support its customers through the pandemic, of which 10,800 remained in force as of 30 July 2020.
As a result of the provisions, the bank’s profitability was impacted by a reduction in profits before tax of 89% to £5.9m.
Despite the challenging market conditions, the bank increased its retail savings deposit base by 25% to £7.6bn.
During the period, Shawbrook also completed a £75m Tier 2 re-financing to further optimise its capital structure.
Throughout Covid-19, Shawbrook maintained full operational functionality, with no staff furloughed and 98% of employees transferred to remote working within days of the UK lockdown being announced.
The bank adopted a series of concession opportunities across its product range to help alleviate the financial impacts of Covid-19 on its customers. During this time, Shawbrook also successfully achieved accreditation to the UK Government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) to provide further funding support to its SME clients.
Ian Cowie, chief executive of Shawbrook Bank, said: “Prior to Covid-19, the Group had continued to make good financial progress, starting 2020 with a strong balance sheet and prudently positioned capital and liquidity base.
“To further optimise the Group’s capital structure, during H1 2020 we initiated a Tier 2 refinancing and, despite the challenging market conditions, successfully completed the £75m issuance in July.
“We have also maintained our active position in the UK savings market. However, the longer-term economic impacts of the pandemic remain hard to predict and as a result, we have recognised expected credit loss charges in the period on loans and advances to customers of £45.8m and on loan commitments of £1.5m.
“While this has clearly had an impact on profitability, our capital strength positions us well to support our customers and grow our business in line with appetite as we enter the second half of the year.
“Since the outbreak of Covid-19, our focus has remained on supporting our staff, customers and partners while at the same time safeguarding the long-term sustainability of our business.
“When the UK lockdown was announced in March 2020, we acted with speed and agility, moving to an almost entirely remote operation within days. Led by a stable and experienced management team and with the support of new and existing technology, we have continued to operate effectively throughout this period.
“Although significant uncertainties regarding the broader macroeconomic impact and pace of recovery remain, we are cautiously optimistic in our outlook as we start to see signs of momentum returning to certain of our specialist sectors.
“Our management expertise and prudent approach to credit ‘decisioning’, combined with investment in our digital propositions, means we are well-positioned to adapt and respond to opportunities as they arise throughout the second half of the year.”