CHALLENGER bank Secure Trust recorded strong lending growth in the third quarter, yesterday reporting an increase in hiring new staff to keep expanding.
Lending balances rose above £500m for the first time, the bank said, while “overall new lending business volumes are materially higher than for the same period in 2013”.
Overall, new lending volumes are up 87 per cent on the same period of 2013.
The bank said its small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) unit “has built up a significant pipeline of good quality new business opportunities”.
And its new invoice finance business, launched last month, had begun with healthy performance, the bank said.
Analysts praised its performance and said it gave cause for hope that competition was increasing in the lending markets.
“Secure Trust Bank is delivering on its promises and showing challenger banks it can take on the UK majors,” said Mark Thomas from Edison. “Its trading statement gives encouraging news on the rapid deployment of its recently raised capital – there has been strong demand for its SME products as well as continued growth in its personal lines.”