* Winterflood affected by low levels of share trading
* Group 'well positioned' for remainder of year
LONDON, Nov 22 (Reuters) - British financial services group Close Brothers said on Thursday it had made a solid start to its new fiscal year, benefiting from a strong performance in its banking division.
Close Brothers, whose services include merchant banking, securities dealing and wealth management, said its loan book had increased by 4 percent in the first quarter to stand at 4.3 billion pounds ($6.9 billion) at the end of October, with growth coming primarily from motor finance, asset finance and property.
However, it said trading at its securities division, which houses the Winterflood market-making business, had remained slow and continued to be affected by low levels of share trading.
Close Brothers said its asset management division was moving towards profitability with total assets under management rising by 2 percent to 8.5 billion pounds ($13.5 billion).
"Overall the group remains well positioned for the remainder of the financial year," Close Brothers said in a statement