Arbuthnot Latham calls for less red tape after Brexit to boost competition

Historic private and commercial bank Arbuthnot Latham has joined calls for the Government to use Brexit to slash red tape for small banks in a bid to boost competition.

The London-based firm, founded in 1833, posted a 91pc jump in underlying pre-tax profits to £7.7m for 2017 today, on the back of growth in deposits and lending.

But it warned onerous regulatory requirements were hampering its ability to lend more to companies such as housebuilders and was stifling its ability to compete with Britain’s big banks.

Andrew Salmon, chief operating officer at Arbuthnot Latham, has said that the UK should follow the deregulatory path being set by the US and that Britain leaving the EU would enable it to level the field for smaller lenders.

Mr Salmon said: “If you look across the Atlantic, America is talking about applying international capital rules only to the large systemic banks, but having a light touch for the small banks.

“We’d like to help small housebuilders further but we are doing less lending in the development sector because of the high capital requirements.”

Arbuthnot Latham’s chairman Henry Angest argued in the company’s results that the turmoil associated with leaving the EU would create investment opportunities, adding that the “greater risk” was having “a hard left Labour government”.

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