Metro Bank said it is starting to see growth in consumer lending again, after a lockdown-led sluggish start to the year.
Metro Bank saw a 17 per cent plunge in lending for the first quarter, with the company’s total net loans falling to £12.05bn for the first three months of 2020, versus £14.51bn a year earlier.
Deposits jumped 13 per cent to £16.41bn as stuck-at-home Britons had little reason to spend their money.
“Customer activity dipped in January following the introduction of the third national lockdown late-December, recovering as the quarter progressed and helped by the gradual easing of restrictions in April,” Metro said.
“We are also beginning to see progress across our loan book, with strong growth in consumer lending and specialist mortgages as we focus on assets delivering higher risk-adjusted returns.”
Soon after the market open Metro Bank (MTRO) shares were trading up 1.13 per cent.
Metro, among the highest profile so-called challenger banks since it launched on high streets in 2010, is trying to turn around its finances after two years of losses and restore investor faith after a major accounting error in January 2019.
It is also dealing with record low interest rates set by the central bank to reinvigorate a pandemic-hit economy, which has led to thinner margins for banks, while bulkier provisions set aside to cover bad loans due to the economic downturn have also eaten into the lender’s profit.