Airdrie Savings Bank Announces Increased Lending

Airdrie Savings Bank Announces Increased Lending

Airdrie Savings Bank, the UK's last remaining independent savings bank, announced it lent a record £48.5m in 2011 - a 35% increase on 2010. Deposits at the bank also rose by 5.4% to reach £137.6m.

Airdrie Savings Bank was supported by a group of key Scottish business figures including Sir Brian Souter, Ewan Brown, Ann Gloag, Sir Tom Farmer and Alastair Salvesen, who deposited around £10m in the bank to support a strategic growth plan in August 2010.

The first stage of the growth plan saw the bank expanding out from its traditional North Lanarkshire base for the first time in 176 years by opening a branch in Falkirk in September.

Announcing the results, departing bank president Bob Boyle said he remained confident that the banks continued expansion was on track in the face of the on-going economic uncertainty.

He said He said: "The bank's budgets for the coming year and projections for ensuing years are based on a continuation of a low interest rate environment.

"And given a continued focus on cost control and increasing business activity - particularly customer advances - the effects of such low interest rates are capable of being addressed positively.

"The principal risk then facing the bank remains the potential impact of increasing bad debts, in respect of which the bank has no intention of abandoning its long-term prudent approach to lending."

Furthermore, Airdrie Savings Bank is to launch a new to apprenticeship scheme with four apprentices to be hired this year.