The Co-operative Bank has reported mortgage net lending of £1.4bn via Platform, resulting in the highest year of mortgage completions since 2010.
Despite making an overall loss before tax, the Bank has reported an operating profit for the first time since 2013. The Group loss before tax slightly increases to £140.7m.
The net customer redress charge of £31.7m is driven primarily by sustained levels of Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) activity, above the levels previously forecast.
Andrew Bester, CEO, said: “The backdrop of political uncertainty and intense competition has created an extremely challenging banking environment but, despite this, we have made sizeable progress in the Bank’s transformation this year, reaching a key milestone by recording an operating profit for the first time since 2013. While our ongoing investment in transformation means continued losses overall, this is nevertheless an important step towards achieving our goal of sustainable profitability.
“We have one of the strongest CET1 ratios amongst challenger banks and a significantly de-risked balance sheet. This has provided us with the platform to reinvigorate our retail and SME banking businesses driving positive net mortgage lending of £1.4bn and our highest year for mortgage completions since 2010. Our digital transformation progresses well and we continue to look to service the needs of our customers better.
“Developing our SME banking business is a key priority for the future and we are pleased to be part of the Incentivised Switching scheme for Williams and Glyn customers. We believe our brand and track record in this market make us an attractive choice for SMEs looking for an alternative to the “Big Five” banks and we are determined to help drive deeper competition in this market.
“In a market that lacks distinctive challenger brands, our commitment to the values of the co-operative movement continues to set us apart and 2019 will see renewed brand investment. We will also look to build on the strong service culture provided by our branch network and telephone services and invest further in digital innovation to make customers’ lives easier.
“In the short term, it remains a difficult environment for all banks and we continue to expect pressure on income, but longer term we have the right ingredients to achieve sustainable success. With a clear strategy, dedicated colleagues, a strong brand, and the commitment of our Board and shareholders we are determined to build on our improved business performance and to realise our vision to be an efficient and financially sustainable UK retail and SME bank distinguished by its values and ethics.”