The trading update repeated STB’s plan announced earlier this month to cease new mortgage lending when the consultation period ends “until conditions become more favourable”.
It acknowledged that it had been tempering the growth of this part of its business due to an already highly competitive market.
“During the second half of 2018 market pressures and competition intensified as evidenced by increasing loan to value metrics and lower new net lending margins,” it said.
“Any changes in the business that may arise from this proposal, following the conclusion of the consultation period with the staff affected, are not expected to have a material impact on 2018 and 2019 earnings.”
And it noted that its lending portfolio was appropriately positioned for the current conditions.
Overall, STB said the group continued to trade strongly in the final period of 2018 and full year results for the year are expected to be in line with management and the market expectations.
It added that the group entered 2019 with “positive business momentum, robust capital positions and very strong liquidity and remains well placed to pursue its strategic priorities”.