Close Brothers announced today its finance director Jonathan Howell, former London Stock Exchange finance head, is to leave the bank after ten years.

The UK merchant bank said Mr Howell, who left the LSE in 2007 following eight years on the board of the exchange, would remain in place until the Close Brothers’ annual general meeting in November 2018.

Close Brothers said it was seeking a successor and looking both internally and externally.

The news accompanied a trading update, in which the bank today posted 2.6 per cent growth in its loan book over the five months to the end of December 2017. The loan book now stands at £7.1bn, up from £6.9bn at the end of July 2017 and up 7.3 per cent year on year.

Close Brothers said growth in its premium and property finance business had boosted its loans.

Rising markets and net inflows also benefited the asset management division. Managed assets increased 8.2 per cent over the five months to December to £9.6bn and total client assets grew to £11.7bn, up from £11.2bn in July 2017.

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