* Pretax profit 22.4 mln stg vs 1.5 mln
* Total customers 136,000 vs 99,700 (Adds further details)
By Matt Scuffham
LONDON, April 2 (Reuters) - New British bank Aldermore said its assets increased by two thirds to over 4 billion pounds ($6.7 billion) in 2013 as it picked up customers from larger rivals that are cutting back lending to meet new capital adequacy rules.
Aldermore, founded in 2009, is one of several newcomers trying to challenge Britain’s established banks and potentially increase competition in the highly-concentrated financial services sector.
The bank said its balance sheet assets increased by 66 percent to 4.2 billion pounds in 2013. Pretax profits increased to 22.4 million pounds from 1.5 million the year before.
Aldermore, which increased its total number of customers to 136,000 last year from 99,700 the year before, was set up by former Barclays executive Phillip Monks with backing from private equity firms AnaCap and Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners.
Monks said on Wednesday that the bank had made a strong start to the current year.
“Aldermore supports SMEs (small and medium enterprises) and homeowners right up and down the country, increasing our lending at a time when many continue to find it difficult to gain access to finance from traditional lenders,” he said.
The bank increased lending to small businesses by 53 percent to 1.7 billion pounds and to homeowners by 76 percent to 1.7 billion. Customer deposits grew by 61 percent to 3.4 billion pounds. Total lending rose by 64 percent to the same amount.
Aldermore’s Core Tier 1 capital adequacy ratio rose to 11.7 percent from 11.5 percent at the end of the previous year. ($1=0.6011 British pounds) (Editing by Chris Vellacott, Greg Mahlich)