PCF Group Plc (LON:PCF) has said obtaining its banking licence is enabling it to withstand the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) disruption as the firm posted interim results for the six months to March 31, 2020.
Scott Maybury, chief executive of the AIM-listed bank, said the licence has meant the group is less exposed to external shocks, such as coronavirus, when they arrive.
Maybury added that after a strong first half, loan demand turned down quickly in April and May.
In the six months to March, new loan originations rose 26% to £153mln with the loan book 18% higher at £401mln and backed by £340mln of retail deposits.
Lending volumes in April and May, though, were 52% below target, PCF said, with its business finance division the most affected.
The bank took a £1.6mln charge for coronavirus-related impairments in its first-half numbers, which meant profits were 21% lower at £2.6mln, all of which was due to the impairment charge.
As of May 29, PCF said customer forbearance was being granted to loans worth £138mln, or 34% of its portfolio, and the group added that it has stopped giving forward guidance until there is more clarity on the situation.
Maybury said: "As one might expect for a financial period affected by COVID-19, there is a nuanced picture in this set of results. What I can say with certainty, however, is that the strengths of our business model are clear to see in both normal market conditions and a more challenging environment.”