Close Brothers boosted by banking arm

Financial services group Close Brothers said it was confident of posting solid results for 2011, with growth in its main banking arm offsetting slight losses at its asset management unit.

"Given the result year to date, overall we remain confident we will deliver a satisfactory performance for the 2011 financial year," the company said.

Close Brothers, whose services include merchant broking, securities dealing and asset management, said its core banking arm had loan book growth of ten per cent for the five months to 31 December.

It added that while the bad debt ratio for its banking arm was slightly higher compared with a year earlier due to writedowns on property, the division had maintained a strong net interest margin.

Close Brothers is restructuring its asset management division.

Close Brothers said the asset management unit had made an unspecified "small loss" over the period, although total funds under management rose 19 per cent to £8.8bn.