The Co-operative Bank continued progress in its turnaround as it unveiled its third straight quarter of profits.
The company struck an upbeat note as it reported trading at least in line with expectations in the update, which came a week after its efforts to buy rival lender TSB were snubbed.
Nick Slape, chief executive of the Co-op Bank, told the PA news agency that it will keep its eyes open for potential acquisition opportunities and continues to be interested in a potential deal for TSB despite being rebuffed by its Spanish owner Sabadell.
“If a possible deal makes sense then we have a group of supportive shareholders and we are now in a position where we can look at consolidation,” he said.
“We obviously see it as an attractive opportunity but respect Sabadell and the position they have taken here.”
On Friday, the bank reported a £28.5 million pre-tax profit for the nine months to September 30, compared with a £68.1 million loss for the same period last year.
The group is reaping the benefits of the transformation plan it launched after being rescued by a group of hedge funds in 2017.
The bank said it saw strong mortgage demand continue during the quarter, reporting £1.1 billion of gross mortgage lending to take it £4.1 billion for 2021 so far.
Mr Slape said: “Looking to the future, I am pleased to confirm that we are tracking in line with or ahead of our guidance expectations, which leaves us well-placed to deliver the refreshed strategy that I communicated in early October.
“Next year marks the bank’s 150th anniversary and these results further demonstrate that our position on ethical and social matters is not only good for our communities, but also delivers strong commercial outcomes.
“I firmly believe that doing good is aligned with doing well in business.”