- Secure Trust Bank made a group profit before tax on continuing operations of £25.0m for the year to 31 December 2017, a 28.9% increase on the prior year.

The group's strategic repositioning was completed in 2017 and it is now focused on further developing its SME, retail finance and motor lending activities.

Further diversification was achieved last year following the controlled launch of STB Mortgages and a new online Deposit platform which helped customer lending balances to grow by 27.3%.

Underlying profit before tax including PLD was £31.3m, up 14.7%, in line with market expectations.

Operating income grew by 21% to £129.5m and underlying earnings per share by 3% to 116.4p.

Paul Lynam, chief executive, said: "During 2017 Secure Trust Bank increased its continuing profits before tax by 29%, its customer lending by 27% and its customer numbers by 33%. The refocusing of the Group's lending activities has materially reduced our exposure to higher risk consumer credit, enabling us to allocate more capital to lower risk lending. I am confident that the benefits of this strategic repositioning will become increasingly visible as 2018 progresses, not least as we started this year with our largest ever pipeline of new business opportunities."

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