SOLIHULL-based Secure Trust Bank has marked its 60th year in business by reporting an operating income increase of 65 per cent to £47 million with profits up 136 per cent to £17.2m.
While most banks have been battered by the economic downturn and debt write-offs, the Shirley-based bank has prospered, in the process becoming the first UK outfit to be granted the Government’s Customer Service Excellence Award.
“The reality is that we have had no scandals and the consequences of us having strong capital and strong funding has made us very attractive to both investors and customers,” said chief executive officer Paul Lynam.
The growth has sparked a huge recruitment boom with over 300 new members of staff being recruited, mainly in Solihull, to deal with the influx of business.
Key to the bank’s success, following its flotation on the Stock Market in 2011, has been the fact that it only lends out money it has in its own accounts.
“Banks have been accused of not lending to business, but we have nearly doubled our lending.
“This is because we have not exposed ourselves to the wholesale markets because when the wholesale market doesn’t work, your bank goes bust,” said Mr Lynam.
“We have a very high surplus of capital whereas many banks haven’t got enough.”
The majority of the loans the bank completes is to individuals but Mr Lynam said they were looking to expand their lending to SMEs in the financial year ahead.
Investors who bought shares in the bank have seen their shares go from £7.20 to £19 in just over a year.
“We are not being dragged down by scandal and through the Stock Market we can access capital which is helping us to grow - it’s a positive, virtuous, circle,” said Mr Lynam.
The Secure Trust Bank offers a full range of banking services. For details, visit www.securetrustbank.com/.