(Adds CEO comments, details, background, shares)
By Arathy S Nair
March 16 British lender OneSavings Bank Plc
reported a 15.7 percent growth in its loan book in
2016, largely in line with expectations, and said it estimated
net loan book growth in the mid-teens this year.
Chief Executive Andy Golding expressed optimism about the UK
economy, but cautioned that uncertainty loomed over Britain's
departure from the European Union as divorce talks get set to
Shares of the company rose as much as 4.1 percent in morning
trading on the London Stock Exchange to hit a record high of 436
"We have got Brexit looming and the triggering of Article 50
and nobody really knows what impact that's going to have on the
UK macro economy, although the economy seems to be very very
well at the moment," Golding told Reuters.
Brexit minister David Davis said on Wednesday he expected
legislation giving Prime Minister Theresa May the power to
trigger Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty, launching divorce
talks, would be formally approved by Queen Elizabeth on
OneSavings, one of the banks aiming to challenge Britain's
"Big 5" lenders, said in August that it had increased its focus
on professional landlords and tightened lending criteria for
financing smaller residential developments after Britain voted
to leave the European Union.
Golding said the lender's core markets and its biggest
market, professional landlord segment, were operating
The lender said net loans and advances grew to 5.94 billion
pounds ($7.30 billion) in the year ended Dec. 31 from 5.13
billion pounds in 2015.
Analysts on average were expecting loans and advances of
5.95 billion pounds, according to a company-compiled consensus.
OneSavings, based in the southern British county of Kent,
said underlying pretax profit jumped 29.4 percent to 137 million
pounds, well ahead of the company-compiled consensus of 131.9
Earlier this month, smaller rival Aldermore Group Plc
forecast strong loan-book growth in 2017, and said
Britain's planned exit from the EU was unlikely to have any
material impact on its business this year.
OneSavings said it kicked off 2017 with a fully loaded
common equity tier 1 ratio of 13.3 percent and said it expected
to maintain it at a minimum of 12 percent.
The stock was largely flat at 419 pence at 0910 GMT. They
had risen about 65 percent in the past 12 months as of its close
($1 = 0.8141 pounds)
(Reporting by Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha