UK bank Paragon will take a “robust approach” to property valuation to mitigate against a potential economic downturn following Brexit, it announced today.
The FTSE 250 lender said it has strengthened an in-house property team that conducts two thirds of valuations and validates all valuations undertaken by third party surveyors.
The company said in a statement: “The impact of a potential economic downturn, whether as a result of the Brexit process or otherwise, remains an area of focus across all lending markets.
“The Group seeks to mitigate its exposure to such conditions through a robust approach to property valuation, employing an experienced in-house property team who undertake around two thirds of valuations and conduct validation work on 100 per cent of valuations performed by third party surveyors.”
The decision was revealed in the bank’s final results this morning as it reported a 7.8 per cent increase in underlying profit before tax to £156.5m and boosted its dividend per share by 23.6 per cent to 19.4p.
Mortgage lending was up 10.8 per cent to £1.62bn and the buy-to-let lending pipeline increase 28.9 per cent to £778.9m.
Paragon chief executive Nigel Terrington said: "We have delivered another strong financial performance, with increased profits driven by broader lending growth and enhanced margins, whilst maintaining our high credit standards.
"In the last year we have made great strides in our strategy to become a leading UK based specialist banking group. A combination of new start-up ventures and acquisitions means we now offer an increasingly broad range of products, supporting British savers, homeowners, landlords, consumers and small businesses.
"The restructuring of our business last year enabled us to improve the efficiency of the allocation of our resources and capital. The broadening of our product rand, coupled with our strong asset quality, leaves us well placed to deliver further targeted growth in the years ahead."