May 6, 2020 / 6:51 AM / a month ago

OneSavings Bank reports steady lending, deposits in face of COVID-19

LONDON, May 6 (Reuters) - OneSavings Bank said on Wednesday net loans and advances and retail deposits held steady against the threat of coronavirus in the first quarter, but it was too early to say what longer term impact the outbreak would have on its business. The specialist UK lender posted statutory retail deposits of 16.3 billion pounds at March 31, while net loans and advances also held firm at 18.4 billion pounds.

“We started the year with a strong pipeline of new business and continue to lend to new and existing customers, prudently and with a reduced suite of products,” Chief Executive Andy Golding said.

“We have enhanced our underwriting to accept desktop valuations due to the inability to perform physical valuations at present.”

OneSavings said it saw an increased level of enquiries relating to both mortgage and savings products as soon as the crisis began but noted that mortgage call volumes had now reduced to normal levels.

It said it has applied to access capital provided by the Bank of England’s Term Funding Scheme and anticipates an initial borrowing allowance of around 1.7 billion pounds.

Some members of the group’s executive committee have volunteered to forgo their 2020 cash bonuses, with half of the money to be conserved in the business and the remaining half to be donated to charity. (Reporting By Sinead Cruise; editing by Pamela Barbaglia)

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