Close Brothers’ client inflows over the three months to end of April were strong enough to cancel a slight mark-to-market loss with managed funds rising 2% in the period to £9.9 billion.
That was up from £9.7 billion at the end of January while overall client funds within the business were flat at £11.8 billion.
‘Following our good performance in the year to date, we remain well positioned for the full year,’ the company said in a statement. ‘The group performed well in the third quarter, notwithstanding slightly weaker market conditions at the start of the period.’
Across the wider merchant banking group specialist closed ended fund broker Winterflood ‘continued to perform well’ alongside an uptick in trading activity.
The strongest growth was within the banking division however, with the loan book rising 2.4% in the period and 4.1% in the year to date from £7 billion to £7.2 billion, powered by commercial and property sectors while retail loans flatlined.
‘Bad debts remained low across all businesses and the bad debt ratio was unchanged on the first half overall. The net interest margin year to date remained in line with the last financial year, reflecting our continued pricing discipline,’ the bank said.
The company has over the past two years quietly reconfigured its asset management division, headed by Nancy Curtin (above), selling OLIM Investment Management and buying regional advisers EOS Wealth Management and Adrian Smith & Partners.
It has also hired a series of senior staff from rivals and targeted gaps in its national network.