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Co-op banking arm posts 70% profit rise

The Co-operative Financial Services’ banking arm has posted a 70 per cent profit rise in underlying profits to £85.6m for 2008 from 50.4m in 2007.

However, the wider group, which is merging with Britannia Building Society reported a 2.8 per cent fall in pre-tax profits of £147m for the period from January 2008 to January 2009 following investment losses from its insurance arm.

Retail customer deposit balances increased by 17 per cent, corporate deposits by 27 per cent and mortgage and corporate lending rose by 23 per cent.

CFS chief executive David Anderson attributed the results to its cautious approach to lending policies. He said: “These are solid business results and when considered against the global economic crisis, they reflect the strength, relevance and importance of the Co-operative business model.

“We measure success in a much broader and deeper way than those competitors whose primary goal is to maximise profit for their shareholders.”

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