During this period the niche bank, which provides lending and deposit products for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs), saw its balance sheet grow to over £500m, underpinned by strong growth across the business. Its loan book grew by 66% to reach £416m and total deposits increased by 21% to £472m.
The bank declared a profit before tax of £10.2m, which represents a fourfold like for like increase on the £2.5m achieved for the previous year and ahead of forecasts.
Despite the entry of several new competitors offering reduced pricing across their loan products, the bank has maintained its strong position by rebalancing its portfolio and developing its Refurbishment and Bridging capabilities where demand continues to be strong. The bank also broadened its range of services in 2015 by launching an Asset Finance business, which already shows promising signs of growth. Overall the bank delivered a return on investment 26.0%, which compares favourably with its peer group.
Mike Kirsopp, Chief Executive at Cambridge & Counties Bank, said: “We are delighted to report a strong full year performance with a fourfold increase in profit before tax, driven by the continued growth of our loan book and deposits. Despite 2016 showing increased market volatility in the face of international developments and uncertainty caused by the EU referendum, early signs suggest that we are well placed to deliver another strong year of growth in 2016.”
Paul ffolkes Davis, Non-Executive Chairman, Cambridge & Counties Bank said: “2015 saw all the markets and geographies in which we operate continue to improve. Not only have we delivered a financial performance above our levels of expectation but we have continued to provide a level of customer service that differentiates us from our competitors. We are in a good position to continue to expand through the winning formula of offering simple, transparent and attractively priced products and services.”
The bank’s owners, the University of Cambridge’s Trinity Hall and Cambridgeshire Local Government Pension Fund, have continued to invest in its growth and its capital ratio has remained strong, standing at 13.7% for total capital and 13.3% for Core Tier 1 at the end of the year.
The bank continued to develop its national coverage during 2015 and opened a new office in Birmingham, to add to its existing locations in Cambridge, Leicester, Sheffield and Bristol. Staff numbers increased from 65 to 94 during the year, underpinning the bank’s ability to attract experienced professionals and offer full-time long-term employment opportunities at all levels
During 2015, the Bank strengthened its senior management team by appointing Chief Risk Officer Will German, who has expanded the bank’s risk and compliance function. Alongside Will, Rachel Curtis-Bowen joins the Board as Executive Director of Customer Experience, with accountability for all service, product and marketing matters.