Challenger banks outperform 'Big Five'

Challenger banks outperform 'Big Five'

Britain's challenger banks outperformed the 'Big Five' lenders by notching up an 18% hike in profits last year.

Total pre-tax profits for so-called challenger banks - such as TSB, Virgin Money, Metro Bank and Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banking Group - rose by £194m to £1.28bn in 2015, while the Big Five were left nursing a combined profits drop of £5.6bn.

The latest UK Challenger Bank report by KPMG showed challenger banks also increased lending by 32% against a 5% fall for the major group - Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Royal Bank of Scotland and Santander.

Metro Bank and TSB  - spun out from Lloyds Banking Group and then taken over by Spanish rival Banco de Sabadell last March -  recently posted solid figures for the first three months of the year.

TSB posted a 53.4% year-on-year hike in bottom-line profits to £52.6m in the first three months of 2016. On an underlying basis, management pre-tax profits rose 75% to £59.9m.

Metro Bank, which floated on the stock market in March, said it was moving closer to making its first profit as it trimmed underlying losses by 7% to £7.9m, although £3.2m in costs for its stock market listing saw it post bottom-line losses of £11.1m.

Virgin Money - another recent stock market entrant after its flotation in November 2014 - will report back on recent trading on Wednesday.