Niche bank reports record results for 2018

Cambridge & Counties Bank has announced record results for 2018, with deposit and lending levels reaching all-time highs.

Total assets rose above £1bn for the first time to end the year at £1.03bn, up 17% year-on-year. Pre-tax profit increased 14% to £27.9m.

The niche bank, which specialises in secured lending and deposit products for small and medium sized businesses, with a strong property developer and investor client base, saw loans and advances to customers increase from £690m to £769m.

Total liabilities grew 13% to £907m, within this, customer deposits increased from £798m to £901m.

Chief executive Mike Kirsopp said: “Notwithstanding increased uncertainty in the UK, due to factors such as Brexit and weakening in some markets, we have delivered a 14% increase in pre-tax profit.

“We have worked hard to deliver another strong year of growth and the bank is well positioned for continued success in 2019.

“Outside of our core East Midlands and North West markets, last year saw the emergence of strong lending in the South West and Wales following a targeted office expansion and network investment programme.

“Our established SME product offering, and competitive rates have delivered excellent balance sheet growth and maintained our earnings momentum.”

Cambridge & Counties Bank has developed a strong customer-centric business model that it believes differentiates it in the UK SME market and helps deliver strong earnings.

For 2018, 99% of new customers, both borrowing and depositing, report the bank dealt with their enquiry and application effectively, with a similar score (98%) given for their willingness to recommend Cambridge & Counties Bank.

In the second half of 2018, repeat business from existing borrowers in the core lending markets accounted for 60% of new business.

The bank expanded its product offering in April to include classic car finance – the product performed above expectations to deliver £5.3m in customer lending in 2018.

In November, the bank became the official finance partner of the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) and as part of its partnership it will support the federation’s Heritage Engineering apprenticeship scheme with £10,000 student bursaries, centred at the Heritage Skills Academy at Bicester Heritage.

Mike Kirsopp added: “A big part of our success is down to the broker partners and intermediaries we work with, and I would like to personally thank them for their continued support.

“Key to these relationships is our ability to provide a smooth and seamless experience when onboarding new customers, and subsequently managing accounts in a way that continues to meet the needs of all stakeholders.

“Our overall customer satisfaction remains market leading and, looking forward, maintaining and building on this is a core priority for us.”

As an indication of the success of its broker relationships, Cambridge & Counties Bank announced at the start of 2019 that lending through Sheffield-based Real Property Finance, one of Yorkshire’s leading property finance brokers, had passed the £100m mark.

The bank has a unique structure, being jointly owned by Trinity Hall, a College of the University of Cambridge, and Cambridgeshire Local Government Pension Fund. They each own 50% of the bank.