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Conister Bank, one of the Island’s leading employers, has pledged across-the-board financial support for staff this winter to help meet mounting energy bills and cost of living increases.
The company has promised every member of staff an extra £200 per month for the next six months.
The scheme, which takes effect from the end of September, not only covers everyone who works at Conister Bank, but all employees of the wider Manx Financial Group, Conister’s parent company. The Group employs over 140 staff in the Isle of Man and throughout the UK.
With the expected hikes in gas bills, the volatility in oil prices and the worsening impact of rampant inflation – with the worst effects predicted to really hit home this winter - The Directors acted quickly to provide additional support for all staff members.
Conister are believed to be one of the first employers on the Isle of Man to have announced additional support payments for staff ahead of the coming winter.
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.
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 engages with IOM Chamber of Commerce to create a task force to help businesses achieve net zero emissions targets
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.
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...
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.
One of Britain’s best-known names in cycling, Chris Boardman MBE, is due to give a keynote speech on the Island in early November, to promote ‘Active Travel’ as the route to healthier and more productive lifestyles.
The event, sponsored by Conister Bank, entitled ‘Enabling Economic Opportunity Through Active Travel’, is aimed at key influencers in Government and the local business community to help create, as part of a long-term strategy, less reliance on cars in our daily lives.
The objective is to provide high-quality infrastructure, that enables people to use their cars less frequently for everyday journeys, by encouraging cycling to work or school and even going to the shops.
The free-to-attend breakfast event is scheduled for Tuesday, November 2nd at the Claremont Hotel 8am – 9.45am.
Conister Bank is leading from the front and intends to assist the Isle of Man, and the wider financial sector to be recognised as a business that properly mitigates and responds to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) risks as we embrace opportunities that demonstrate that we are a sustainable and responsible business.
As part of our ESG initiative, Conister Bank has purchased 5 Electric Bikes available for staff to use to encourage active travel within our workforce. Transportation makes up the second-biggest source of greenhouse gases. As a responsible employer, we want to give our staff the opportunity to take part in active travel with an option to leave their cars at home and cycling to work, or simply use an E-bike to take a break throughout their busy day to enjoy the Manx scenery.
We have been working closely with Dot Performance who captured an early morning ride with our Head of Sales, Andy Bass as he led the way through the stunning Marine Drive.
Conister was privileged to be asked to be a part of the ‘Time Enough Climate Change Solutions’ produced by Dave Armstrong and Isabella Hawke.
The Time Enough project aims to find local solutions to global problems and has created a platform to discuss climate change on a global scale, with an emphasis on what individuals can do to create a positive impact. The overall climate project is supported by the Time Enough film project that tracks the Ilse of Man's journey to a sustainable future.
Dave and Isabella met with Conister's Clara Isaac at the Royal Manx Agricultural Show. In this video, Clara talks about how she is making recycling easier for all Isle of Man residents so that we can all play our part in keeping things green and healthy through recycling! Recycling reduces our carbon footprint by eliminating plastics instead which would otherwise end up as litter on landfills or seashells breaking apart into microplastics when they hit ocean waves - real impacts right there but those aren't even half if you consider where these materials come from (which often includes mining). All that waste adds to warming greenhouse gases like methane trapping more heat radiation away from Earth than reflected back towards ourselves causing climate change.
James Smeed, Finance Director at Conister Bank, believes the Isle of Man must ensure it’s ready for the changes when the G20 countries finalise the details of proposed tax changes thrashed out at the G7 summit earlier this year.
In an interview with Business 365 James discusses his views as to whether the Two-Pillar Global Tax Reform a threat to zero-10 and if the Isle of Man needs to make sure it is best placed to withstand a wave of global tax reform that is inevitably coming.
Conister Bank as an independent institution that has adapted to many changes, both domestic and international, over the years. James talks about how it is in our interests, but also the Manx economy, to support a collaborative effort to see the Manx Government engage with counterparts to ensure the island’s economy remains strong and the Isle of Man continues to offer the perfect location for businesses of all sizes.