Clydesdale, Yorkshire profits rise

CLYDESDALE and Yorkshire Banks yesterday posted an 11 per cent surge in underlying first-half profits to £264m and said they had lured more customer deposits despite intense competition from rivals.

The high street lenders, which are owned by parent company National Australia Bank, said they were focused on maintaining a strong capital position with retail deposits and longer term funding currently covering 105.5 per cent of lending. Liquid assets were £10bn at 31 March – more than twice the level held before the wider market turmoil began.

Meanwhile the banks’ provisions coverage ratio strengthened to 1.40 per cent, while charges for bad and doubtful debts rose by nine per cent to £15m. However, that was down 28 per cent compared with the previous six months when the charge was £70m. The banks said that their conservative approach to risk and lending had seen just 41 homes repossessed in the period, compared with more than 10,200 across the industry.

Chief executive Lynn Peacock said: “While there are now signs of economic recovery, our cautious approach will remain until longer term trends are evident. Our clear focus remains on maintaining our strong capital position and supporting customers.”

Average gross loans and acceptances were stable at £33bn.