- Secure Trust Bank traded strongly during its Q3 to end-September. Total customer lending balances across the STB Group now exceed £500 million for the first time.

The bank continues to enjoy the favourable conditions in the retail deposits market. It has raised additional two, four and seven year fixed rate deposits which enable it to match broadly the new lending activities and to mitigate the potential impact of interest rates rising faster than the market expects.

Demand for consumer lending, especially in Cycle and Motor Finance, remained healthy and overall new lending business volumes are materially higher than for the same period in 2013. The bank's retail finance division successfully launched its Season Ticket finance offering and will seek to build on this initial success in 2015.

Secure Trust Bank has made significant progress with the development of its plans for SME lending. The Real Estate Finance team, which is staffed by highly experienced bankers with proven property lending expertise, has built up a significant pipeline of good quality new business opportunities.

A number of these have been drawn down during the quarter. The lending is mainly short term development financing with prudent loan to value levels. In light of the successes achieved so far, and the future potential, the bank has accelerated its recruitment plans to augment the existing credit risk and relationship management teams.

Secure Trust Bank Commercial Services, the invoice finance division of the bank, was launched as planned on 1st September after a year in development. New business is already being written and interest in our entry to the market has exceeded expectations resulting in further new business opportunities.

As a result Secure Trust Bank Commercial Services has brought forward its recruitment plans for additional risk and business development staff and is pleased to note that it is attracting high calibre recruits.

The STB Group's total new lending volumes written during Q3 2014 are over 87% higher than in the same period last year. The loan book has performed in line with the trends reported in the first six months of 2014. Impairment levels remain below the level expected when the loans were originated.

Secure Trust Bank PLC continues to work on a range of organic and external business opportunities.

As a result of the growth in lending balances coupled with continuing lower levels of impairments and firm operational cost control Secure Trust Bank PLC anticipates full year results to be at or above the upper end of market expectations.

With the UK economy continuing to recover, inflation remaining subdued, employment levels rising and consumers and businesses feeling more confident Secure Trust Bank believes it is well positioned to sustain its positive progress over the coming period.

At 9:16am:

[LON:ARBB] Arbuthnot Banking Group PLC share price was +50.5p at 1130.5p

[LON:STB] Secure Trust Bank PLC share price was +73p at 2493p

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