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Close Brothers loan book grows 5.1% year to date

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By Reuters
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(Reuters) – British merchant bank Close Brothers Group Plc <CBRO.L> on Friday reported a 5.1% percent rise in loan book this year on the back of strong lending in its banking division, but flagged low trading volumes at its market maker unit.

The mid-cap firm, which provides loans and wealth management as well as securities trading services, said its loan book stood at 7.6 billion pounds with commercial delivering good growth across the portfolio.

Close Brothers said in May that it expected a solid result for the full year as it reported a 1.5% increase in its loan book in the third quarter, mainly driven by commercial and property.

The company said trading volumes remained low at its market maker unit, Winterflood, but added that the segment performed broadly in line with the first half.

Market volatility, which tends to boost profits at firms such as Winterflood, has been subdued this year as investors shied away from risky bets due to uncertainties stemming from the China-U.S. trade war and multiple delays to Britain’s exit from the European Union.

(Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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