Group Chief Executive update
Transcript for the 2019 Half Year Results update from António Horta-Osório
I’m really pleased we have made strong strategic progress and delivered a good financial performance in the first half of 2019 as we continued to deliver our purpose of Helping Britain Prosper. The Group’s performance demonstrates that our business model continues to be a source of competitive advantage and is delivering significant benefits for our customers and shareholders.
As we announced in February last year, we will invest over £3 billion during our ongoing three-year strategic plan period to 2020, with £1.5 billion invested to date. This is driving strong progress against our strategic priorities to transform the Group for success in a digital world, and customers are feeling the benefits of our investments.
In the first half of this year; we launched our next generation of mobile banking, with searchable statements, upcoming payment notifications, cheque deposits and card controls. We also reduced the average time it takes business banking customers to receive a credit approval for an unsecured loan, from 6 days in 2018 to as little as two hours today.
And we have extended our unique Single Customer View to more than 4 million customers who can now see details of their pension and insurance products online, alongside their retail products such as current and savings accounts.
We are now at the half-way point of our current strategic plan and we continue to believe our multi-brand, multi-channel strategy is the best approach to meet customers’ rapidly-evolving preferences.
We now have around 16 million digitally active users and 10 million mobile app users, with 75 per cent of products now originated digitally. We are the largest digital bank in the UK, but at the same time we remain committed to maintaining the biggest branch network in the country.
Our customer focus means that the innovations we have launched go hand in hand with our purpose of helping Britain prosper. Over the past 6 months, we have lent more than £6 billion to first-time buyers, supported over 56,000 start-ups, and are on course to meet our target of £6 billion of additional net lending to start-up, SME and Mid Market clients by the end of 2020.
Our customer focused, efficient business model positions us well to continue to invest in the business, support our customers and deliver our purpose of helping Britain prosper.