November 8, 2018 / 8:07 AM / 10 days ago

UPDATE 1-OneSavings raises annual lending growth expectations

(Adds CEO, analyst quotes, details on Brexit)

Nov 8 (Reuters) - OneSavings Bank Plc raised its lending growth guidance forecast to about 20 percent on Thursday, its second increase in three months, as it benefited from a focus on providing mortgage credit to bigger, professional landlords.

One of the banks aiming to challenge Britain’s “Big 5” lenders, OneSavings reported loan book growth of 16 percent for the nine months to Sept. 30, with net loans and advances growing by 1.18 billion pounds ($1.55 billion) to 8.5 billion pounds in the period.

OneSavings, founded in 2011 as part of a private equity buyout of Kent building society KRBS, the group has concentrated on professional landlords and tightened lending criteria for financing smaller developments after Britain’s vote to leave the European Union in 2016.

“We delivered ... net loan growth in the first nine months of the year and entered the fourth quarter with a strong pipeline, enabling us to increase our full year guidance for net loan book growth,” Chief Executive Officer Andy Golding said.

Shares in the company traded 3.7 percent higher as the London market opened, taking the stock to the top of the FTSE Midcap Index.

The company had previously expected net loan book growth of high-teens in 2018.

OneSavings had in August raised its net loan book growth forecast to “high-teens” percent versus a previous forecast in the “mid-teens”.

The bank has also warned of the potential impact of a hard Brexit on the country’s housing market and indicated it was ready to rein in lending and investment if necessary.

“We recognise the current uncertain macroeconomic outlook. However ... our strong capital position and robust stress tests, which include a number of Brexit scenarios, give us confidence in our business going forward,” Golding said. ($1 = 0.7625 pounds)

Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain and Samantha Machado in Bengaluru Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty/Keith Weir

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