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Cambridge & Counties Bank gross new lending up 40% in 2020

Specialist lender Cambridge & Counties Bank recorded a near 9% rise in loans and advances to customers in 2020, to £828m, while gross new lending increased by almost 40% across the year, to £220m.

 

The bank, which specialises in secured lending and deposit accounts for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs), saw total assets rise to £1.074bn, up from £1.004bn in 2019.

Customer deposits increased to £917m from £854m.

Pre-tax profit for the year was £11.2 million, compared to £22.5 million in 2019.

The bank’s average staff numbers increased 11% to 165, with growth in the bank’s Leicester headquarters and new geographies such as Scotland.

Senior appointments in 2020 included Donald Kerr, the bank’s new chief executive following Mike Kirsopp’s retirement, Tina Hayton-Banks, chief operating officer, and Mike Hudson, chief risk officer.

Over 2020, Cambridge & Counties invested in its digital and technology infrastructure, and expects to invest a further £2 million in 2021.

The bank completed the first stage of a new business intelligence platform – a company-wide data warehouse that incorporates data from the bank’s core banking platform, asset finance system, and financial crime and contact strategy databases as well as climate data.

2020 also saw Cambridge & Counties Bank enhance its environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) and sustainability programme.

It extended its carbon neutral status to include all regional offices, and its approach was recognised by Investors in the Environment, which awarded the bank with ‘Overall Outstanding Achiever 2020’.

Kerr said: “In what was a profoundly impacted year for the UK economy, our customers, our staff and our markets, Cambridge & Counties Bank delivered a very strong performance.

“We remained open for business and volumes increased – our organic asset growth was not supplemented by government-backed initiatives.

“I’m immensely proud of the spirit and dedication shown by the bank’s employees and their continued focus on customer service as well as delivering a differentiated, competitive proposition through our broker partners and directly for our customers.

“Importantly, we continued to invest in the business during 2020, particularly with regards to our geographic coverage, in new staff, and the technology that underpins the bank’s success.

“We are well placed to benefit as the UK economy normalises and real estate investors, business owners and our broad base of customers are themselves focused on growth and new opportunities.”

Simon Moore, chairman of Cambridge & Counties Bank, said: “Our profit before tax, while lower than 2019, represents a very resilient performance in these extraordinary times.

“There were, of course, headwinds, but looking forward we are optimistic.

“We have had a good start to 2021 with income in Q1 higher than the same period a year ago and continued growth in the balance sheet driven by our core real estate lending business.

“We know our customers value highly our products and services, and we are committed to delivering an exceptional proposition for all our stakeholders.

“The appointment of David Holton to the new role of chief transformation officer in April 2021 reflects our aspiration to be at the forefront of the sector.

“As CTO, David will lead on a wide range of key projects for the bank with a view to further building our competitive position in the market.”

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