IDENT consumers boosted growth at Arbuthnot Banking Group in the fourth quarter, spurring extra lending in its Secure Trust Bank (STB).
STB’s loan book grew “materially” to more than £600m, with retail and automotive finance leading the expansion.
Black Friday – the day of mass retail discounts before Christmas – saw a 1,300 per cent increase in retail finance applications and a 600 per cent increase in new loans given, compared with the same retail event in 2013.
“I sense a general feeling of optimism which is reflected in the demand we are seeing for retail and motor finance,” STB chief Paul Lynam told City A.M.
“Folks are more likely to commit to discretionary spending if they are feeling better about their prospects. It is important for the UK recovery that sustainable consumer spending continues.”
Arbuthnot Latham private bank also saw “strong growth” over the year, building its core loan portfolio to more than £400m.