Manx Financial Group PLC, the locally based AIM listed financial services group, which includes Conister Bank Limited, Edgewater Associates Limited, Manx FX Limited and Conister Finance & Leasing Ltd recently published its Annual Report.
Jim Mellon, who is executive chairman of Manx Financial Group PLC, commented “I am pleased to announce that the outcome for 2018 showed a broadly similar profit to 2017, despite the figures including the expense of further investments in infrastructure, the most important being the opening of a new UK full-service HQ in Newbury and a significant upgrade in our IT infrastructure. We have continued to strengthen our Balance Sheet and our new business pipeline remains buoyant for all our core activities. As a result, we are in an excellent position to report further success, both at the Interims and at the full year”.
Conister Bank Limited exceeded its targets for the year with new lending increasing by 38.4% to £102.1 million (2017: £73.7 million), driven by a 41.9% uplift in lending on the Isle of Man and a substantial increase in demand for its structured product range in the UK.
Net loan book growth of 21.0% to £148.3 million (2017: £122.5 million) has been achieved with no deterioration in loan book quality with performing loans remaining at 97.2%. In anticipation of this increase in UK demand, the Bank opened a fully equipped new office in both Newbury and Manchester.
Operating expenses decreased by £0.2 million to £6.0 million (2017: £6.2 million), but this masks the investment made in technology, which will underpin the Bank’s growth in 2019 and beyond. The Bank successfully installed a new deposit system in 2018 and this has helped manage the growth of the deposit base by 11.4% to £158.5 million (2017: £142.3 million).
Douglas Grant, Managing Director of Conister Bank Limited, commented on the Bank’s performance, “Despite the shadow of economic uncertainty, Conister Bank exceeded expectations for the year and achieved record lending in 2018. Our balanced approach to acquiring businesses; servicing the UK wholesale funding market and developing online lending to our island community, allows us to enhance our customer’s experience and develop customer centric products”.
Meet Tom Charmer, Conister Bank’s friendly face in the South
As an independent bank which has served the Isle of Man since 1935, Conister Bank knows that the key to longevity in business is building and nurturing strong customer relationships. For Conister, this is made possible by a team in which every member is people-orientated and enjoys being part of the Island’s community.
Tom Charmer, who has been a Sales Manager with Conister Bank for just over a year, relishes the customer-focused nature of his role and the organisation as a whole. As a ‘Southerner’, he particularly enjoys helping businesses in the south to get off the ground, grow and thrive.
Tom grew up in Castletown and Port Erin, attending the towns’ respective Primary Schools before moving up to Castle Rushen High School.
On leaving school, Tom went to work in the banking sector, gaining promotion from his initial Cashier role to Customer Services Officer, then Relationship Manager. It was here, working across the Island, that he cultivated his people strengths and gained key experience in helping customers to achieve their individual goals.
Tom now lives in Braddan with his partner Clare and their two sons, Jake (8) and Harry (3). “I still spend a lot of time down south”, he says. “All my family are down there, so I see them regularly”.
Tom often plays golf in the south and prior to taking up the sport he was a keen footballer, starting out at Rushen United before going on to captain Castletown. “I love the south because it’s familiar, it’s where I grew up and where many of my friends still live. It’s a great place to go and relax”.
As a Sales Manager with Conister Bank, Tom has a major focus on the south of the Island, “I want to meet with as many business owners as possible and understand their needs or frustrations. We simply want to help people in any way we can, whether that’s with a business or start-up loan or by releasing working capital. One thing that new businesses discover is that growth can be harder than setting up - we’re able to reassure them that we’re with them all the way, not just at the beginning”.
In Castletown alone, Conister Bank has supported three recent success stories - The Secret Pizza Company, Compton Vaults and Body Craft Fitness. Down in Port Erin, Tom is busy talking to the local community, letting people know what Conister can do for them; meetings with the Port Erin Traders’ Association has given him a valuable insight into the needs of local businesses.
To any prospective or current business owner thinking of getting in touch, Tom says, “We’re open for business and want to help you. Conister is a traditional bank in that we believe in making personal visits and providing a consistent, familiar face for our customers to meet with. We have such a wide range of services and products to help people, and I’m always happy to have a chat. We will always want to support our local community - after all, we’re part of it too. This is where we work and live, and are proud to call home”. ...