- Secure Trust Bank anticipates full year results to be at or above the upper end of market expectations. It has traded well in Q4, consistent with the trends disclosed in respect of the previous quarters of 2014.

The total loan book closed the year in excess of £600m.

It said the chipper outlook was the result of carefully managed growth in lending balances coupled with continuing lower levels of impairments and firm operational cost control.

Growth in consumer lending, especially in Retail Finance and Motor, remained strong and overall new consumer lending business volumes are materially higher than for the same period in 2013.

It is noteworthy that 'Black Friday' saw a 1300% increase in Retail Finance applications and a 600% increase in new business written compared to 'Black Friday' in 2013. This highlights how our proposition supports the growing numbers of retailers we work with in the finance and sale of their products both in store and online.

STB has continued to make significant progress with the development of its SME lending activities. The Group is now providing Asset Finance, Invoice Finance and Real Estate Finance and is seeing very strong demand for these services from a wide variety of business customers.

The growth in this area is being carefully managed. This is reflected by continuing sizeable investment in the Audit, Compliance, Finance, Relationship Management and Risk Management capabilities of the Group during the final quarter of 2014.

The Group's total new lending volumes written during 2014 are over 75% higher than the prior year. The loan book has performed in line with the trends reported in the first nine months of 2014. Impairment levels remain below the level expected when the loans were originated.

The Group's capital and funding levels remain very strong. Conditions in the savings market continue to be favourable and support the ongoing strategy of funding customer lending with customer deposits of similar tenor thereby minimising the Group's exposure to interest rate risk.

STB continues to work on a range of organic and external business opportunities.

The Group enters 2015 with increased momentum, much broader lending and risk management capabilities and strong capital and funding positions. The UK economy continues to recover with employment levels at record highs. Against this background STB believes it is well positioned to sustain its positive progress over the coming period.

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