Clydesdale owner posts 15% jump in first-half profits

The parent company of Clydesdale Bank today said it was on track to deliver a 'modest' maiden annual dividend as it reported a rise in earnings for the first half of its financial year.

Clydesdale owner CYBG recently announced plans to axe 40 branches across Scotland. Picture: Maurice McDonald/PA
Clydesdale owner CYBG recently announced plans to axe 40 branches across Scotland. Picture: Maurice McDonald/PA

CYBG, which also owns the Yorkshire Bank brand, posted an underlying pre-tax profit of £123 million for the six months to the end of March, an increase of 15 per cent on the same period a year earlier.

The Glasgow-based group, demerged from its former Australian owner NAB last year, said its bottom line was helped by efforts to cut costs, including a programme to reduce the size of its branch network by almost a third.

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In January, the lender said it would closing 40 branches across Scotland, as part of a UK-wide programme that would see 79 sites axed.

“The group’s financial performance has been good in the first half of the year and we continue to target a modest inaugural dividend in respect of 2017,” CYBG told investors today.

Chief executive David Duffy added: “As the only true full service challenger bank of scale across both retail and SME in the UK market, we have been able to deliver ahead of market growth in mortgages and growth in core SME banking, as well as making a strong start to our commitment to provide up to £6 billion of lending to SMEs over the next three years.”

He added: “Whether it be prototyping new technologies, opening the UK’s first consumer innovation lab, Studio B, or collaborating with fintech partners with the development of our new small business e-lending solution, we are building a bank focused on a differentiated customer experience that will put customers more in control of their money.”