Arbuthnot Specialist Finance records loan book surge

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Arbuthnot Specialist Finance (ASFL) recorded a 68% hike in loans last year buoyed by housing demand in the pandemic.

The group, which is the short-term property finance arm of private bank Arbuthnot Banking Group, reported that its loan book came to £10.1million in the year to 31 December 2021, up from £6million in 2020.

It posted a loss of £1million, unchanged from its performance in 2020, with impairment losses – loans and advances to customers – of £21,000, compared with a £4,000 loss this time last year.

Net interest income rose to £585,000 from £536,000 with operating income climbing to £585,000 from £539,000.

The Bank said that at the year-end business flow was positive and that ASFL had a strong pipeline of business building for 2022.

It is understood that increased residential demand particular for HMO acquisitions and conversion have helped drive its 2021 figures.

The performance also came despite the departure last September of Directors Yasin Patel and Shoaib Bux.

The group’s core business is residential finance where, according to its website, it offers maximum LTVs of up to 75% including interest and fees, on loans from £30,000 and an interest rate per month from 0.6%.

Other core areas are light refurbishment with a maximum LTV of up to 75%, loans from £30,000 and a monthly interest rate from 0.65%, and Development with a maximum LTV of up to 70% and maximum GDV of up to 70%. Monthly rates are from 0.85%.

It also offers loans to borrowers looking to purchase commercial property such as retail, office and other purposes.

Overall, Arbuthnot Banking Group posted a profit before tax for 2021 of £4.6million compared with a loss of £1.1million in 2020. Net assets grew to £200.9million from £194million and operating income climbed to £88.7million from £72.5million.

Group customer loans rose 25% to £2billion helped by loan book growth in banking and specialist lending.

Sir Henry Angest, Chairman and Chief Executive of Arbuthnot said:

“The Group made good progress in 2021, returning to growth and restoring profitability, notwithstanding the ultra-low interest rate environment prevailing in the period.

Our lending businesses performed well with lending balances reaching two billion pounds for the first time in the Bank’s history.”