Leumi banking on growth
by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2006-03-01
The UK division of Israeli financial institution Bank Leumi made record profits in 2005 as well as increasing the amount of lending and growing its assets to over £1bn for the first time ever.
During 2005, lending rose to £680m from £568m in 2004 while deposits made by customers increased to £908m from £774m in the previous year.
Profits for Bank Leumi (UK) after tax rose by nearly 10% to £10.8m from £9.6m in 2004.
"2005 has been a busy and exciting year for Bank Leumi in the UK," said Baruch Lederman, managing director and chief executive. "Despite an inevitable increase in costs as we lay the foundations for future growth, profits have held up very well and the growth in our balance sheet has been significant. We expect returns to improve even further in future years as we see the benefits of our current strategy flow through."
The growth of business was also escalated by its expansion during the year which saw it complete the acquisition of a Channel Islands bank as well as the certain private banking activities and assets of Riggs Banks NA.
The bank says it intends to further grow its business by moving into invoice discounting and factoring as an enhancement to its trade finance services.
"We are committed to the continued growth of the Banks business and will make every effort to seek opportunities to achieve this," Lederman added.