- Secure Trust Bank ("STB") has announced an increase in profit before tax of 40% for the six months to 30 June 2015, up from £11.4m in the same period last year.

The Bank says it has traded strongly during the first half of the year, whilst continuing to invest heavily in the development of an SME lending division.

The Group achieved a record level of profit before tax for a first half period of £16.0m. The positive momentum in customer lending continues, with balances up 90% in the last twelve months, evidencing the successful ongoing execution of the strategic plan.

The interim dividend per share will be 17p, (H1 2014: 16p).

Paul Lynam, Chief Executive Officer, said: "Today's results show an ever growing number of customers being very satisfied with our products and services. As a result of the growth in our customer base we have been able to make a significant investment in the creation of an SME division whilst simultaneously achieving a record level of interim profit before tax."

At 12:06pm:

[LON:ARBB] Arbuthnot Banking Group PLC share price was +128p at 1500p

[LON:STB] Secure Trust Bank PLC share price was +24.5p at 2909.5p

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