Arbuthnot isoptimistic as profits rise

ARBUTHNOT Banking Group saw its profits more than triple over the first half of the year as all of its divisions moved back into the black amid improving economic conditions.

Pre-tax profit at the group rose to £2.3m, up from £0.7m in the first six months of 2009. The result came despite a weakening at the private banking arm Arbuthnot Latham, where pre-tax profit for the period fell from £0.7m last year to just £0.1m.

Chairman and chief executive Henry Angest said the division’s “prudent balance sheet management currently represents a significant sacrifice of profit in favour of liquidity and long term stability”, adding that Arbuthnot Latham grew customer deposits by almost 15 per cent since this time last year, to £335.5m.

The group’s retail banking arm, Secure Trust Bank, saw pre-tax profit increase 13 per cent to £4.6m over the period, while the investment bank Arbuthnot Securities moved back into profit after a jump in secondary revenue and corporate finance income.

“The current environment is presenting good opportunities for Arbuthnot and in the absence of adverse economic developments, we remain optimistic about the remainder of 2010 and beyond,” said Angest.