Arbuthnot profits rise despite 1.3m investment bank loss

ARBUTHNOT Banking Group, the 176-year old firm headed by Henry Angest, yesterday said that first-half pre-tax profit had risen as retail customers ditched high street banks in the wake of the banking crisis.<br /><br />The group said pre-tax profits rose five per cent to a &ldquo;satisfactory&rdquo; &pound;702,000 in the period, despite the fact its investment banking arm suffered a &pound;1.3m loss due to &ldquo;adverse market conditions&rdquo;.<br /><br />&ldquo;Our capital and liquidity ratios remain strong. Given the signs of momentum in all of our businesses, I am cautiously optimistic about the second half of the year,&rdquo; said Angest.<br /><br />Secure Trust Bank, the group&rsquo;s retail arm, reported profits of &pound;4.1m, up 19 per cent compared to the previous year, with customer deposits rising by 120 per cent to &pound;78.7m.<br /><br />The first half loss at invesment bank Arbuthnot Securities narrowed by 13 per cent compared to last year. But the firm said said profits began improving in the second quarter and that its corporate client list had grown to 98 from 95 last year.<br /><br />The Arbuthnot Latham private banking arm made a &pound;700,000 pre-tax profit, a 49 per cent rise on the previous year.