Private bank Arbuthnot Latham boosts profits and remains optimistic on Brexit
UK private and commercial bank Arbuthnot Latham increased profits by a third last year and remained optimistic that Brexit could deliver a “bright future” for the economy.
The bank reported pre-tax profits of £14.6m in 2018, a 33 per cent rise on the previous year as it grew its customer loan book by 17 per cent to £1.2bn.
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Arbuthnot Banking Group, which owns a 15.5 per cent stake in retail and commercial bank Secure Trust Bank and also includes Arbuthnot’s commercial and asset finance business, increased profits by 172 per cent to £6.8m.
The private and commercial banking group said the vast majority of its income and expenditure was based in the UK and it could therefore be at risk if an economic shock arises from Brexit.
But Chairman and chief executive Sir Henry Angest was optimistic about the UK economy and the bank’s ability to deal with a potential shock.
He said: “Given our cautious approach to banking, I feel confident that our balance sheet should withstand any likely downturn in the economy.
“Looking further ahead, the UK economy might surprise us.
“It has proved to be very resilient, despite all the doom and gloom, and with a strong government introducing the right economic policies to promote business, Brexit could well deliver a bright future,” he added.
The bank has also made plans to continue providing financial advisory services to EU citizens after Brexit through the continent-wide Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA).
After being successful in the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) incentivised switching scheme at the end of last year, the bank said it has applied for the larger RBS business banking competition fund.
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If successful it said it would bring forward plans to develop its commercial banking platform.
Secure Trust Bank reported a 36 per cent profit hike to £36.7m and its loan book surpassed £2bn.