NAB sees UK profits double

THE owner of Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks announced a rise in full year pre-tax profits of over 50 per cent yesterday after it advanced £4.7bn in mortgages and wrote down fewer bad debts.

National Australia Bank (NAB) said lending had been subdued in the year to 30 September but that it was “firmly on track” to deliver on its £10bn two-year new lending promise.

Its profits grew 53 per cent to £164m from £107m a year earlier. Meanwhile bad debts had fallen 18 per cent on the previous year to £74m. Average retail deposits were up 100 per cent to £23.1bn on a year earlier and double the industry average growth it added.

The UK business, which has around 400 branches and employs 8,355 staff, said it was attracting growing numbers of small and mid-corporate firms after £2.7bn of lending to business over the course of the year.

Lynne Peacock, UK chief executive, said: “While national economic recovery will provide further challenges, Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank is in a strong position and continues to send a clear message to new and existing customers that they have real choice and support.”

NAB said it would maintain its prudent approach to lending, despite the recent improvement in economic conditions and in commercial property prices resulting in a reduction in the level of its bad debt provisions.

Mortgage balances more than 90 days overdue as a percentage of the portfolio were significantly lower than the industry at 0.76 per cent in September, it added.

The UK company has been the subject of deal speculation in recent months after it failed in the auction of 318 branches put up for sale by Royal Bank of Scotland, a deal later secured by Spanish giant Santander.

LYNNE PEACOCK

NATIONAL
AUSTRALIA BANK

LYNNE Peacock, 56, and currently UK?chief executive of National Australia Bank, has worked in the banking sector for 27 years after joining Woolwich building society in 1983.

After obtaining a degree from East London Polytechnic in the 1970s she begun her career as a marketing executive for Tate & Lyle and then Unilever.

She later moved into banking joining the Woolwich in its marketing department before eventually becoming group operations director a role she once described in an interview as her “best ever title.”

She went on to become chief executive of the building society in 2000 but left three years later after overseeing the integration of operations following the acquisition of Woowich by Barclays Bank. Soon after she joined National Australia Bank (NAB). She was appointed chief executive of NAB’s UK operations in March last year from her previous position as chief executive for Europe, a role she took up in October 2004. She is also apparently a fervent West Ham United fan.