Positive outlook for Conister Bank’s parent company Manx Financial Group PLC

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Positive outlook for Conister Bank’s parent company Manx Financial Group PLC


The chairman of the Conister Bank’s parent company Manx Financial Group PLC is viewing the future with optimism.

As the Group’s latest results are published, Executive Chairman Jim Mellon says that despite the difficulties of the past year, there are opportunities ahead.

In his statement accompanying the Annual Report, Mr Mellon says: ‘I expect a continued improvement in the economy in the Island, which will in turn create a positive environment for our lending and wealth management businesses to operate within.’

When the Manx Government launched two business support schemes in response to the Covid crisis last year, Conister Bank was the only lender in the island to be accredited for both. It also became accredited for two UK business support schemes through the British Business Bank.

At the peak of the first UK lockdown, the Bank had negotiated forbearance or payment holidays to help over 2,000 customers, a figure that had gone down to 144 just before the UK’s third lockdown in December.

By year-end, provisions stood at £3.95 million, compared with £1.9 million in 2019 – with much of the increase relating to one customer.

Consequently the Manx Financial Group’s profit before tax for 2020 had dropped to £2 million, down from the 2019 figure of £3 million, although that figure is ameliorated by credits of £1.3 million, relating to acquisitions.

At Conister Bank, despite the unprecedented economic backdrop of 2019, a profit of £1.9 million was recorded. Although this is a drop of £0.7 million on the 2019 figure, it is less of a contraction than many equivalent businesses.

Conister Bank Managing Director Douglas Grant said: ‘Even though 2020 was a more challenging year than any of us could have imagined at the outset, we are pleased with our performance.

‘Our lending increased to a new record of £167.2 million, compared with £158.8 million in 2019, while our assets grew 6% to £268 million, compared with £252.9 million in 2019.’

He added: ‘We are proud of our record of supporting businesses and clients during this difficult time and of maintaining our place at the heart of the Isle of Man community.’

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