IF sounds optimistic note on first year results

IF sounds optimistic note on first year results

Intelligent Finance, the stand-alone telenet banking division of UK banking group HBOS, says it is recording monthly new business growth of £750 million and remains on target to break even in 2003.

Releasing its operating statistics at the end of its first full year, the bank claims £8.9 billion balances in hand and forecast to complete, with actual balances amounting to £6.4bn.

Savings and current account balances amount to £2 billion, while IF's share of the UK net mortgage market for the year stands at nine per cent, up from seven per cent in June.

Over 90% of the business is new to the newly created HBOS group, says Jim Spowart, chief executive of Intelligent Finance. "Many customers are leaving the big four and joining us - as they patently warm to our fairer principle of being able to integrate any personal banking products,” he says.

He points to recent IF research which suggests that 55% of homeowners with a mortgage, or some 11 million consumers, would consider moving to a bank which offered an integrated banking service, offsetting debit and credit balances for interest payments.

Despite the poor performance of stand-alone Internet banks, Spowart insists that IF is on target to break even by the end of 2003. He believes that the appetite for integrated accounts will continue to drive IF's growth over the next year, adding that the bank has seen over 160,000 current account applications since launch, "proving that the age of inertia is almost over".

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