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Conister Bank employs - Star of the North!

There’s a fresh face in the Conister sales team! We’re delighted to announce the appointment of Shaun Kelly as our new Sales Manager.

Working alongside Tom Charmer, Lee Gale, and Andrew Moody, Shaun will have specific responsibility for the North of the Island, an area he knows like the back of his hand.

Welcoming him into the fold, Head of Sales Andy Bass said Shaun will be a great asset to the sales team. “I first met Shaun back in September at a sporting event in which we were both participating and, getting to know him, I immediately felt he could play a key role for us at Conister. He’s a great fit for my team and will really complement our existing sales force.”

The Kerbside Recycling Collection business inspired by Conister

Clara Isaac, founder of recyclecollect.im, joined the Chamber of Commerce’s Business Sustainability Group on the 20th October to share the recycling journey she has been on since the business launched in September 2021.

For a number of years, Clara was our Head of Accounts. Although she left recently to set up her own online payroll company with her husband, she has always had a passion for the environment.     

Clara Isaac, founder of recyclecollect.im, joined the Chamber of Commerce’s Business Sustainability Group on the 20th October to share the recycling journey she has been on since the business launched in September 2021.

In the first 12 months of operation, Recyclecollect has picked up 71,284 kg of recyclable waste and now collects from over 720 houses that have signed up to the kerbside recycling collection service around the island. Working together with local businesses, 2 local parishes, and implementing a modern take on waste collection to involve technology, recyclecollect.im aims to make recycling easier and convenient for everyone on the Isle of Man.

“I was absolutely blown away from where we started,” Clara comments. Currently, the most prolific recyclers appear to be in Santon (8.33% of households) and Arbory (7.45%). Both have benefitted from engagement with the local authority, which offers a discounted rate for collections. “Take up went up by 70% in the first month after working with the parish,” revealed Clara, who said the plan was to get similar arrangements in place elsewhere across the Island.

Read the full article to find out more about Clara's journey and her ambitions for Recyclecollect.

Conister Bank awards staff an extra £1,200 this winter to combat inflation and rising fuel bills

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 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 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.

Conister sponsors Chris Boardman's ‘Active Travel’ Initiative on the Isle of Man

cb 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.

Sustainability is a lifestyle at Conister Bank!

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.

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

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