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Scottish Widows Bank pre-tax profit surges 5.3%

Scottish Widows Bank has revealed a 5.3% pre-tax profit rise for 2007.

Pre-tax profit for the bank increase to £30.4m for the 12 months to December 31 2007, up from £28.9m in 2006.

Net mortgage growth for the year was £240m – an increase of 4.3% – bringing total retail lending as at the end of December 2007 to £5.86bn.

Total retail deposits for the full year were £2.54bn, down 5.4% on 2006, which the bank attributes to intense price-led competition in the savings market.

Graeme Hartop, managing director of SWB, says: “Our overall performance last year was strong, against a background of considerable change and volatility in the market.

“We saw high volumes of mortgage business during the second half of the year with a record-breaking peak in application values in October.”

Scottish Widows last year expanded its niche mortgage range to include the Key Worker Mortgage as well as launching its internet banking service.

Hartop adds: “The combination of a strong financial services brand, a commitment to long-term value and customer service, and our experience in niche markets has proven to be the right balance to endure what has been a testing year for the banking market.”

Scottish Widows plans to grow its savings business this year.

Its deposit schemes include the recently launched Premier Client Account, a savings account aimed at solicitors and their clients.

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Neptune video: UK economy: a sustainable recovery?

After years of a slowly brewing economic recovery, the UK has seen a strong rise in growth in recent months. Mark Martin, manager of the Neptune UK Mid Cap Fund, discusses the strength of this recovery and whether it is sustainable.

In the video, Martin addresses the following:

• Structural features supporting the UK economy
• UK mid-caps and the potential for M&A activity
• Valuations and opportunities in house builders


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