Clydesdale boss insists challenger bank’s turnaround on track despite drop in deposit balances

Still, analysts are concerned that his objectives are too ambitious.

“While RoTE of 6.3pc does create opportunities for improvement, we are concerned about both the level of work that is required and the lack of success the previous parent NAB had in trying to do this,” warned Numis analyst Jonathan Goslin. “We remain concerned that a normalisation of impairments, rising competition and Brexit uncertainty will make it difficult for CYBG to achieve its 2019 target.”

Pre-tax profits slumped to £46m from £58m in 2016 because of a series of one-off charges, although once exceptional items are stripped out it rose 15pc to £123m. 

CYBG said its ambitions to declare a “modest” maiden dividend for the 2017 financial year were “unchanged”. Its common equity tier one ratio, a key measure of its financial strength stood at 12.5pc, from 13.2pc a year earlier.

While Mr Duffy has made no secret that he is open to acquisitions, he insisted that the turnaround of the bank was not dependent on a deal. He would not comment on whether he was interested in buying parts of struggling rival Co-operative Bank.

“If we did no M&A for the next three years I couldn’t care less because we will still deliver double digit growth in ’19 in our core franchise,” he said. CYBG was a bidder for Royal Bank of Scotland’s Williams & Glyn business before the sale was called off in February.