Challenger banks One Savings Bank and Charter Court have both reported loan book growth ahead of their proposed merger.
One Savings Bank reported five per cent loan book growth to £9.4bn in the first quarter of the year, due to strong commercial and residential lending.
The specialist lender grew loans and advances by £448m compared with £368m in the same period in 2018.
Fellow specialist lender Charter Court, in its own trading update today, reported loan book growth of 18 per cent to £6.5bn.
New loans of £710m, a first-quarter record, were driven by “strong performance” across Buy to Let, residential and short-term mortgage sectors.
The challenger banks confirmed the terms of a £1.6bn merger in March ahead of the UK’s original departure date from the EU.
The deal will create one of the UK’s largest specialist lenders, adding Charter Court’s residential market expertise to One Savings’ strength in commercial and development lending.
Shares in both firms rose around 0.5 per cent following updates which point to an even larger combined group.
One Savings chief executive Andy Golding said: “Our lending and retail savings franchises remain strong and we have seen a good start to the year, with lending exceeding expectations.
“I am particularly pleased by the strong growth in our commercial and residential propositions.”
He added: “However it is still early in the year, and given the continued uncertainty surrounding Brexit, there is no change in our outlook for 2019.”
Charter Court chief executive Ian Lonergan said: “Our performance in the first quarter continues to reflect the resilience of our lending operations and demonstrates our ability to structure and execute complex transactions, even in difficult market conditions.”