Solihull-based Secure Trust Bank clocked up record profits after pulling in an extra 1,000 customers a week as the economy fights back from recession.
The challenger bank saw its pre-tax profits for 2014 surge by 53 per cent to £26.1 million while customer numbers grew by 22 per cent to 429,507.
Paul Lynam, the bank’s chief executive officer, said: “It has been another good year for us. We are doing what the Government is looking for banks to do, which is lending to consumers.
“Lending has increased by 59 per cent and we have had a 22 per cent in customers overall. We are attracting more than 1,000 customers a week.”
Mr Lynam said the improving economic climate was reflected by the Solihull group’s record results.
“We do not lend to people who are loaded by debt, we only lend to people who are in employment, the vast majority of people who approach us looking for a loan are declined.
“Any idiot can lend money, but you have got to get the money back if you are going to make a profit. There is no doubt whatsoever that households and individuals have more disposable money in their pockets and it makes it easier for them to service their indebtedness.
“The reduction in the cost of fuel has helped, it is not costing people as much to commute to work. This existing Government has had to come in and put the brakes on excessive borrowing from the previous administration. You cannot borrow and borrow and borrow forever.
“We, as a bank, cannot always afford to give people just what they want because at some stage they can’t afford to pay it back, it would be a reckless thing to do.
“I have no particular political axe to grind, but Labour left behind a pretty poisoned chalice. Putting the economy back on track was its core objective.
“I do not think that borrowing, borrowing and borrowing is the way to get out of the problem. We have now got record levels of employment. The 60th anniversary of Secure Trust Bank’s incorporation represented a record year of profits for the company.”
Secure Trust Bank, whose origins date back more than 60 years, has a workforce of over 700 people, with over 300 at its Solihull HQ.