Sharjah-based United Arab Bank (UAB) has reported a 47 per cent increase in loans and advances in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the same quarter last year.

Total lending reached AED17.2bn ($4.7bn) in the first three months of 2014. Customer deposits rose at a similar rate of 46 per cent to reach AED16.4bn.

The increased activity fuelled the bank’s net profits, which reached AED161m, an increase of 34 per cent on the previous year.

In 2013, the bank reported a 35 per cent increase in profits to reach AED552m.

The bank’s deposit also strengthened last year, growing by 49 per cent compared to 2012. Speaking to MEED in March, UAB’s chief executive officer, Paul Trowbridge said that the strong deposit base would help support the bank’s regional expansion plans and limit its need to raise external financing in the near future.

At the end of 2013, the bank raised a two-year $250m syndicated loan with 12 lenders.