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Close Brothers warns tough equity markets are taking a toll

Close Brothers warns tough equity markets are taking a toll

Tough equities markets have continued to trouble Close Brothers’ (LON:CBG) securities arm over the past five months, though its bank division is thriving.

The financial services group said while market-maker Winterflood's saw a similar level of daily trades in the five months to December to the previous year, increased market volatility and reduced retail investor risk appetite had "significantly reduced" income per trade.

In contrast, the bank loan book increased by 9% in the five months to December to £3.8 billion with demand described as good across the portfolio. 

Net interest margin had remained strong and close to the level in the second half of the previous financial year, while the bad debt ratio remained stable. 

The asset management division recorded a small loss in the period, while funds under management fell by £1.2 billion to £8.4 billion over the five months.

Close said the drop reflected institutional redemptions and private client money under management rose slightly to £6.7 billion.

“Financial market conditions have remained difficult in January and are uncertain for the second half of the financial year.  However, our businesses remain well positioned and we continue to see a strong performance in the Banking division,” Close added. 

Half year results for the six months to January wil be published on 13 March.

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