- Specialist lender Paragon Banking Group said it had continued to grow the size of its mortgage and commercial lending books, while improving its net interest margin.

For the first nine months of the company's financial year, new lending had risen to £1.90bn, up from £1.58bn on-year.

Mortgage lending had risen to £1.19bn and commercial lending to £0.71bn.

Paragon said its annual lending guidance was unchanged, with full-year volumes in the mortgages division still anticipated to be around £1.6bn and commercial lending volumes expected to exceed £0.9bn.

The company's net interest margin was expected to be above the 2.24% level reported in its half-year results and the 2.19% reported in 2018.

'Strong new business growth and margin improvements have been delivered in line with our expectations and we are well placed to deliver our 2019 objectives,' chief executive Nigel Terrington said.

'Our recent residual sale of a legacy portfolio and associated share buy-back demonstrates our ability to re-cycle capital, optimise capital and improve return on equity, whilst maintaining a prudent and robust capital base.'

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