- Arbuthnot Banking Group reports record profit before tax of GBP34.2m for the year ended 31 December - including the results of Everyday Loans - a 52% increase on 2014.

The group - which is the holding company for Arbuthnot Latham & Co and Secure Trust Bank - said the agreed disposal of Everyday Loans, announced on 4 December, is progressing as planned and ownership is expected to transfer before the end of April.

The board is proposing a special dividend for 2016 of 25p, which is contingent on the completion of the transaction at which time further details will be announced.

Operating income grew by 38% to £126.7m (2014: £92m) and customer lending exceeded £1.5bn for the first time; 2015: £1.6bn (2014: £1.2bn).

The final dividend per share of 17p is up 6% and the total dividend per share of 29p is up 7%.

Private Banking - Arbuthnot Latham:

- Profit before tax of £6m (2014: £3.6m), an increase of 65%

- Customer loans up 15% to £619m (2014: £536m)

- Customer deposits grew 53% to £897m (2014: £586m)

- Assets under management increased 11% to £739m (2014: £666m)

- Purchased mortgage portfolio performing well and now eligible for use in the Funding for Lending Scheme

Retail Banking - Secure Trust Bank

(a) Profit before tax of £36.8m (2014: £26.3m), which includes the results of Everyday Loans

(b) Customer lending balances increased by 73% to £1.1bn including ELL (2014: £0.6bn)

(c) Total customer numbers increased to 570,759 (2014: 429,507)

(d) Good progress in the development of the SME lending businesses

(e) Disposal of Everyday Loans agreed to Non Standard Finance for £127m, realising an expected gain of £115m Chairman and chief executive Sir Henry Angest said: "This has been another good year for the Group with both Banks performing well. With the disposal of Everyday Loans we will have capitalised the future earnings of our highest risk lending and strengthened the Group's resources to support future growth."

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