Secure Trust Bank has reported a fall in first-half pretax profit, but remains optimistic about the future. Despite higher lending and deposits, the bank experienced a decrease in pretax profit due to an impairment charge.

Financial Results

For the six months ended June 30, pretax profit was £15.0 million, compared to £24.7 million for the same period last year. This decline was attributed to an impairment linked to a debt case within the bank's commercial finance division. Excluding charges, continuing pretax profit rose to £39.3 million from £34.3 million.

During the same period, total lending balances increased by 8.2% to £3.16 billion, while customer deposits grew by 5.3% to £2.65 billion.

Balance-Sheet Strength

Secure Trust Bank's common equity Tier 1 ratio decreased from 14.0% to 13.0% compared to the previous year. The total return on average equity worsened to 6.8% from 12.5%.

Dividend Announcement

The board declared a stable interim dividend at 16 pence per share.

Positive Outlook

Chair Michael Forsyth is optimistic about the bank's future prospects. He stated, "We have laid the foundations for a strong 2023 and expect a significant improvement in our profitability during the second half of the year and in 2024." Forsyth believes that this growth will be driven by loan book expansion and cost optimization.

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