UK profits strong at Investec in spite of weakness in South Africa

INVESTMENT bank Investec said yesterday that profits in the UK and Europe are holding up, despite a weaker performance in its South African and Australian divisions forcing it to lower forecasts for the first half of the year.<br /><br />Investec said in a pre-close briefing that first-half net operating income and operating profits would be below the first half of last year, though profits in the UK and Europe were ahead over the five months to August.<br /><br />It said defaults had continued to increase in line with expectations, though core loans and advances had grown by three per cent to &pound;16.7bn.<br /><br />&ldquo;Many people say that banks are not lending, but the reality is that people are not borrowing, more than banks are not lending,&rdquo; said chief executive Stephen Koseff.