Major investment in Yorkshire Bank

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A further £100m is to be ploughed into Yorkshire and Clydesdale Banks, in a sign that their Australian parent company means to keep the two banks.

There has been speculation that National Australia Bank might look to sell off its UK assets, although the company said last month that it was in no hurry to sell the division.

NAB UK chief executive David Thorburn said: “We will make a further £100m investment in those businesses.”

He added that the company had invested this amount of money in Yorkshire and Clydesdale in recent years and that NAB UK is looking to build up its Internet banking presence.

“I am pouring all my energy into organic growth,” added Mr Thorburn.

NAB’s overall group second-half cash profit rose to a record as bad-debt charges fell and mortgages grew at more than three times the rate of the industry, although the bank warned global economic events were hurting consumer confidence.

NAB UK announced a four per cent increase in underlying profits to £533m for the year to September 30.

Yorkshire and Clydesdale provided £7.5bn of new business and mortgage lending during the period and has advanced £12.2bn of new lending in the past two years, ahead of the £10bn two year pledge made in October 2009.

“Underlying profits are up four per cent to £533m in a very difficult economic environment,” said Mr Thorburn.

“Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks’ commitment to providing choice with a customer focus is demonstrated in these results. Outperforming the market on mortgage growth, including strong support for first-time buyers, we have also helped savers through our competitive cash ISAs, term-deposit accounts and Signature current account.