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Manx Financial Group acquires a 50.1% stake in Payment Assist

Manx Financial Group PLC announced that Manx Ventures Limited has agreed to acquire a 50.1% interest in UK focused, point of sale lender Payment Assist Limited for a total initial consideration of £4 million payable in cash.

Manx Financial Group has been working with Payment Assist since 2015, the company’s wholly owned subsidiary Conister Bank Limited, having provided the primary wholesale funding agreement to support Payment Assist’s growth during this period.

The acquisition is conditional on the satisfaction of certain conditions precedent including approval of the change of control by the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”).

In addition to the Acquisition, Manx Ventures has agreed an option to acquire the remaining 49.9% of Payment Assist for cash consideration of up to £5 million.

The Option can be exercised by Manx Ventures at any time for a period of two years after publication by Payment Assist of its audited accounts for the period to 31 December 2024. MFG will fund the initial £4 million consideration and deferred consideration of up to £5 million from its cash resources.

Entries open for Coast to Coast Walk

The fifth annual ‘Sight Matters Coast to Coast Walk’ is set to return this September, with Conister Bank as its headline sponsor.

The popular event will take place on Sunday 4th September when participants walk from Douglas to Peel, clocking up approximately 12 miles. Walkers of all ages and abilities are encouraged to sign up for the reasonably flat and gentle route. The event will start with a lap of the NSC track, before heading west via the Heritage Trail and crossing the finish line in Peel.

Coast to Coast participants will help Sight Matters raise funds that will provide much-needed support to the Island’s blind and visually impaired community.

Conister Bank supports Isle Listen’s school activities during Mental Health Awareness Week

Conister Bank are proud to be involved with Isle Listen and their work in schools, encouraging our Island’s young people to use their creativity and explore important Mental Health themes. We were keen to support Isle Listen’s vital early intervention work, giving younger children new ways for them to familiarise themselves with common feelings and emotions, which is key in developing emotionally healthy young adults.

Manx Collections is Open for Business

A new dynamic name has emerged in the UK collections industry, with the launch this month of Manx Collections.

The FCA regulated Manchester-based company is a subsidiary of the diversified financial services organisation, Manx Financial Group (MFG), who are listed on the London Stock Exchange (AIM: MFX). Manx Collections will focus exclusively on the UK market, to assist businesses of all sizes with the recovery of both regulated and unregulated debt, at any stage of the trade or consumer debt cycle.

To ensure loan book continuity, Manx Collections can also act as a stand-by service provider, underpinning the operational resilience of companies, as well as offering the skill set to monitor a client’s internal processes and procedures. Where required, in order to minimise disruption, Manx Collections also has the ability to step in and collect debt on behalf of a client.  

“With a strong emphasis on compliance, efficiency and outstanding service delivery, we are ideally positioned to manage the recovery of trade and consumer debt for clients nationwide,” explained Managing Director, Stuart Reid.  He said that, with rising inflation, increasing interest costs, continued supply chain disruptions along with new economic uncertainty now was a right time to enter this market to aid consumers, SMEs and funders.

Taking the Active Travel Challenge

As part of the drive to facilitate this change, the Bank’s Sales Team has embarked on an Active Travel Challenge. The Team thought it would be constructive to show how long a typical commute to work actually takes if you compare going by car, bicycle, or on foot. What transpired has been condensed into a lively and informative video, which is now available for viewing on the company’s website.

With two of the team driving an electric vehicle, one cycling on an eBike and the other relying on good, old-fashioned shoe leather, the aim of the exercise was to see who could arrive fastest at the Conister office in Victoria Street, Douglas. The starting point for the “race” was the Shoprite car park in Onchan, a journey of about 2.5 miles.

Read the full article to find out the results.

Conister engages with IOM Chamber of Commerce to create a task force to help businesses achieve net zero emissions targets

ff The IoM Business Sustainability Group is a task force that has been set up as a subsidiary of the Chamber of Commerce Climate Change Programme (COCCCP) to assist local businesses in achieving net-zero emissions.

The Chamber’s Climate Change Group was set up in 2019 to allow businesses the opportunity to exchange ideas on environmental initiatives and best practices. The idea of the sub-group is to share best practice and knowledge with local businesses and to promote action towards achieving net-zero emissions.

Chair of the COCCCP Chris Gledhill commented: the role of the COCCCP is to oversee the strategic side and work in parallel with the Government’s climate change strategy along with support and feedback to Government solutions to assist the business community in delivering on climate change. The new sub-group will focus on the practical aspects on how the business community can drive ideas and initiatives forward no matter what size or sector. The forum plans to work with existing members of the COCCCP and welcomes the wider Chamber members by encouraging knowledge sharing, and promoting collaborative solutions for lowering emissions and improving environmental impact

The initiative originated from Conister Bank’s initial engagement with the Energy & Sustainability Centre Isle of Man, who both recognised that local businesses on the Isle of Man have a shared goal to tackle the transition to net-zero and together can achieve better results through a collaboration by sharing and developing new ideas to advance the transition to a green economy.

The sub-group is open to any Chamber member.

Our first 'Active Travel Challenge'

On a crisp and sunny winter's morning, the Conister Bank Sales Team embarked upon our very first 'Active Travel Challenge'.

The premise was simple: In the early weekday morning traffic, who would emerge victorious in their commute to work between car, cyclist and walker? The aim was to highlight the differing struggles of the daily commute for all methods of travel while also shining a spotlight on active and sustainable travel.

The full article will be available in the next Gallery magazine out soon, keep a look out and grab yourself a copy!

For now you can view the video here...

Conister’s Pledge: We’re Standing Up and Standing Fast

As another year is chalked off the calendar and the focus turns to 2022, the continuing Covid saga is hard to ignore.

For the IOM business sector, it could be a tricky year. Yet, despite any nervousness about where the economy is heading, staff at Conister, the Island’s community bank, are prepared for what lies ahead.
Douglas Grant, Conister Bank’s Managing Director, outlined in a wide-ranging interview that, whilst there are likely to be “headwinds and challenges” over the next 12 months – especially from inflation, interest rate increases and rising energy costs - being resolute should lead to a much brighter outlook for 2023 and beyond.

“UK inflation could go as high as 6%, which will also generate wage inflation,” he says. “But when overall inflation drops, there will be an element of permanent inflation, wage inflation, which is hard for employers but great for employees. At this point, there should be light at the end of the tunnel for consumers.

“Also, in the short term, our fixed-rate loans will help customers mitigate against any rate rises, which should certainly help. Once things improve, there’s always the opportunity to refinance if you want to,” says Douglas, who is also CEO of the bank’s listed holding company, Manx Financial Group PLC.

5 Key Challenges Facing SMEs in 2022

dg 2021 has been a real test of resilience for SMEs. Added to the existing challenge of COVID have been new disruptive factors, including a supply chain crisis, which led to an increase in demand for working capital, as well as rising inflation and labor costs, all reducing their ability to generate economic growth.

Whilst government-backed schemes such as the Bounce Back Loans Scheme (BBLS) and Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS) have provided a lifeline for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) facing significant liquidity pressures, SMEs need a plan in place to avoid these challenges becoming a structural issue which will stifle their future growth and imperil their survival.  

Whilst the UK economy is currently on track to be the fastest growing economy in the G7, there are five key areas of risk which need to be managed by SMEs to ensure they can capitalise on and contribute to economic growth in 2022.

1.       Inflation
2.       Interest Rates
3.       Recruitment
4.       Technology
5.       Green Transition

Read more as Douglas Grant, Conister Bank's Managing Director, and Group CEO at Manx Financial Group PLC discusses the five key challenges facing SMEs in 2022.

It’s time for Retro Fit as Conister pumps up its Green Finance Initiative

Conister Bank, the Island’s primary green lender for local consumers and businesses, has welcomed the Isle of Man Government’s plans to provide grant aid for sustainable, eco-friendly home improvement – but warned that this won’t be enough on its own to satisfy the demand for green funding.   

Conister's Head of Sales, Andy Bass, said the Department of Enterprise’s Green Living Grant Scheme was a positive move in helping residents to reduce carbon emissions and cut household energy bills, by making their properties more efficient.  

But he advised that whilst the Scheme would be beneficial for certain types of home improvement, it would not be sufficient to provide adequate funding for many homeowners now looking to embrace a low-carbon future.  

“Our aim is to do all we can to help make a difference to environmental impact and in support of the Island’s Government. In our view, retro-fit represents a practical and advantageous route towards net-zero,” said Andy.

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Conister Bank Limited, Clarendon House, Victoria Street, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM1 2LN

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