Alliance & Leicester says profits grew 7 percent last year

| February 21, 2007 | 0 Comments

Alliance & Leicester says profits grew 7 percent last year

Reports season in the UK banking sector continued on Wednesday as Alliance & Leicester (LSE: AL) said that profits were up 7 percent last year to £585 million. That was much less than the 35 percent rise in profits reported Tuesday by Barclays Bank (LSE: BARC; NYSE: BCS; TYO: 8642), but chief executive Richard Pym echoed Barclays insistence that it is determined to continue providing free banking, despite recent reports that conditions such as the rise of bad debt and recent crackdowns by the Office of Fair Trading on some bank and credit card charges would force banks to begin charging for their services.

A highlight of the report was the surge in online business done by the bank. Mr. Pym said that half of A&L’s current and savings accounts are registered to internet banking and that those customers generated 600,000 online banking transactions each month in 2006. He also said that over 38 percent of A&L’s core mortgage, loan, current and savings account products were sourced online last year, up from 30 percent in the previous year. Mr. Pym used these statistics to claim that A&L gets a higher proportion of its new business online than any of its rivals.

In another announcement, Mr. Pym announced that he plans to leave his position soon and that the bank has already begun a search for his successor.

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