Santander UK has posted a 37% drop in pre-tax profits to £981 million for 2019 after taking a £169 million hit for payment protection insurance (PPI) claims and costs for its overhaul plan.

The high street lender saw results impacted by the rush in PPI claims ahead of the August deadline as well as charges for reorganising its branch network and cutting jobs.

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It said efforts to become more competitive in mortgages helped it notch up its highest growth in home loans for a decade.

The Spanish-owned group said it remained "somewhat cautious" over the outlook for 2020 as economic growth is set to be subdued and amid ongoing intense competition in the sector.

Nathan Bostock, chief executive of Santander, said: "Our 2019 results were impacted by the ongoing competitive income pressure on mortgages and PPI charges, but they also include the investment we are making as part of our plan to transform the bank for the future."

He added: "The environment for the banking sector remains challenging, with ongoing competitive pressures and a demanding regulatory agenda.

"However, the increased political certainty will be welcomed across the business community."

The head of ScS has announced plans to step down from the furniture retailer.

Chief executive David Knight said he will retire in 12 months' time after 32 years with the company.

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His departure comes amid a testing period for the business, which also revealed that like-for-like orders slipped 4.4% for the 26 weeks to January 25.

ScS said it had a stronger Christmas period, with like-for-like order intake increasing by 1.2% over the past nine weeks.

The retailer said this was a significant improvement over the previous 17-week period, which had seen like-for-like orders dive by 7.1%.

It said its sales for the half-year were in line with expectations despite the weak start to the period.

ScS said it is "mindful of the continued economic uncertainty and subdued consumer confidence", but believes it is in a "strong position".

The retailer said a search will commence shortly to find Mr Knight's successor to steer the company.

Chairman Alan Smith said: "David has committed a very substantial part of his working career to ScS and has been pivotal to its success.

"We are delighted that he will remain in the role of group CEO until we have his successor in place and ensured an orderly handover.

"On behalf of the board, shareholders and all other ScS stakeholders, I thank David for his outstanding contribution to the group and wish him the best of health and happiness for his life beyond ScS."

Car dealership Pendragon has cautioned 2019 profits are set to come in around the bottom end of City expectations after election uncertainty weighed on consumer demand at the end of the year.

The group said its franchised UK motor division was hit the hardest by the "challenging consumer environment".

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It said its performance "improved significantly" overall in the final six months.

"The board remains confident that the improvement in performance during the second half puts the business on a much stronger footing as we enter 2020," the group said.