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A very strong balance sheet, the achievement of a double-digit return on equity in 2020 despite the pandemic and the prospect of substantial dividend growth after this month’s resumption of payments all bode well for OSB, the FTSE 250 bank. We already have a 36.4pc capital gain in the bag, plus dividends, since our study of the stock in November 2018 and, assuming anything like a degree of economic normality, the specialist lender looks capable of providing the ideal combination of further share price gains and dividend growth. OSB specialises in niche sectors of the mortgage market, notably buy-to-let and properties for small businesses. It effectively doubled down on those areas when it acquired Charter Court Financial Services in 2019. As a result investors took fright when the pandemic struck just over a year ago, as they wondered what damage rising unemployment and a housing downturn could do to the balance sheet at a time when net interest margins were under pressure thanks to rock-bottom interest rates and quantitative easing. According to the full-year results published earlier this month, net interest margins did indeed fall in 2020, to 2.19pc from 2.43pc (no small matter on a net loan book of £19.2bn), and the loss ratio jumped to 0.38pc of the loan book from 0.13pc. Some of last year’s legitimate concerns were borne out. In addition, OSB had to take a £20m provision against a potential fraud.