LONDON New British bank Shawbrook moved into profit last year, it said on Tuesday, adding that it had bought an invoice-backed finance provider to enable it to offer more types of funding for small businesses.
The bank, which was launched in 2011 and focuses on lending to small businesses, said it made a pretax profit of 16.8 million pounds in 2013, compared with a pretax loss of 7.1 million the year before.
Shawbrook is one of a number of new banks to have emerged since the 2008 financial crisis, looking to pick up business as Britain's dominant lenders shrink their balance sheets and build up capital reserves to meet tougher regulatory requirements.
"In all of our key businesses we are taking share from our competitors. We are successfully taking share particularly in the commercial and asset finance space," Finance Director Tom Wood told Reuters.
Shawbrook said its lending had increased to 1.4 billion pounds during the year compared with 748 million at the end of 2012. Customer deposits increased to 1.46 billion pounds from 924 million at the end of the previous year.
Chief Executive Richard Pyman said the bank planned to expand newly acquired Centric Commercial Finance, which has assets of over 200 million pounds, over the coming year.
"We are always alert to the possibility of high quality acquisitions that fit with us culturally and strategically. This was an obvious one for us given we didn't have the invoice financing activities within our stable," he told Reuters.
($1 = 0.5968 British Pounds)
(Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by Greg Mahlich)
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