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  • 21/03/2020 | Group News

    Castle Trust receives banking licence and appoints new Chair

    Following its application for a banking licence at the end of 2019, Castle Trust Capital plc (Castle Trust) was advised on 20 March 2020 that its application for a banking licence has been successful and has been approved by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

    Following its application for a banking licence at the end of 2019, Castle Trust Capital plc (Castle Trust) was advised on 20 March 2020 that its application for a banking licence has been successful and has been approved by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

    Castle Trust is now authorised with restrictions as a bank and enters into a mobilisation period.  During this period it will be required to undertake a number of actions (including the ‘Friends and Family’ testing of its new savings system) which have been agreed with the PRA and the FCA and are aimed at protecting both Castle Trust and its customers. Castle Trust is well advanced with the process and is aiming to apply for the restrictions on its deposit taking to be lifted in time for it to start to take deposits from the public later this Summer. Castle Trust has also now commenced three Schemes of Arrangement pursuant to which it intends to convert its existing Fortress Bond and Housa customers into deposit holders following the lifting of its restrictions.

    Martin Bischoff, Chief Executive Officer said: “The granting of authorisation with restrictions marks an important moment in Castle Trust’s story.   

    “Our customers are at the heart of our drive to become a bank.  We already have 200,000 customers and by making the transition, we expect to be able to extend an enhanced offering to both them and future customers for whom we’ll be the bank of choice.”

    Tim Hanford, Managing Director of J.C. Flowers & Co. Europe, Castle Trust’s majority shareholder said “We have seen Castle Trust develop from its inception in 2012, building its customer base and product propositions to the point where a banking licence became the obvious next step.  The company’s strong performance and robust management have been demonstrated throughout, establishing a strong foundation for continuing its success as Castle Trust Bank.”

     

    The company also announced the appointment of Richard Pym CBE as Chair.  Richard is an experienced financial services Chair, whose most recent role was with AIB Group plc, where he chaired the company through the initial public offering in 2017 and led the board through the recovery from financial crisis.

    Richard said: “I’m delighted to join Castle Trust.  The company is growing at pace and the granting of authorisation with restrictions heralds the start of great opportunities for the business to flourish.”

    Speaking of Richard’s appointment, Martin Bischoff said: “Opportunities to recruit someone of Richard’s calibre are rare.  His extensive experience as Chair of some of our most recognised financial institutions makes him the ideal person to lead Castle Trust into the banking world and we are thrilled that he has agreed to join us.”

    Tim Hanford praised Richard’s appointment: “At J.C. Flowers & Co. we have known Richard for many years and have always admired his leadership. I am confident that Richard is an excellent complement to the Castle Trust management team and I look forward to working with Richard to deliver the business’ plan and continuing its success as a bank.”

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  • 21/03/2020 | Group News

    Castle Trust makes key new appointments

    Castle Trust has appointed two new Non-Executive Directors.

    To support the next stage of its development as it becomes a bank, Castle Trust Capital plc (Castle Trust) has appointed two new independent Non-Executive Directors, one of whom will take up the role of Audit Committee Chair.

    The new Senior Independent Director and Chair of the Audit Committee has been confirmed as Eric Anstee FCA.  Eric has extensive experience across the financial services industry and has chaired Audit Committees for the likes of OneSavings Bank plc, Sun Life Financial of Canada Limited and Paypoint plc.

    Eric said “Castle Trust’s credentials are very strong with a proven track record.  I look forward to being part of the business as it goes through such a significant period of development.”

    Richard Pym, Castle Trust’s Chair added: “Eric brings a wealth of Audit Committee experience to the role and was a natural choice.  We’re confident that the Committee is in safe hands with Eric as Chair.”

    The firm has also appointed Melba Montague as Non-Executive Director. Melba, the European Banking and Financial Markets leader at IBM Global Business Services, brings a wealth of financial technological experience to help drive Castle Trust’s change agenda.

    Speaking of her new role, Melba said: “The company has big plans and being part of the team taking Castle Trust through the launch process and into the next phase of its development is particularly exciting.”

    Richard Pym also welcomed the appointment: “As a recognised leader in the world of IT, Melba brings a unique set of skills to the Castle Trust board.  Her expertise within the technology field will support our drive to optimise our customer journeys.” 

    Martin Bischoff, Chief Executive Officer said of the appointments: “This is a pivotal moment in Castle Trust’s story and making such prestigious appointments really sets the direction of travel into the banking world. 

    “This is an exciting time for the business and with such solid support, I look forward to seeing Castle Trust become a leading force within the banking community.”

    Tim Hanford, Managing Director of J.C. Flowers & Co. Europe, Castle Trust’s majority shareholder said “We are pleased to welcome these new directors to the Castle Trust board.  With the support of such high calibre members and their respective skills and experience, we are confident that Castle Trust will continue to develop as a successful specialist bank providing an array of sophisticated financial products to its customers.”

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  • 03/02/2020 | Group News

    Our latest financial statements - September 2019

    Castle Trust has published its latest financial statement, as at 30 September 2019.

    Castle Trust has published its latest financial statement, as at 30 September 2019. The full detail of the statement can be found in the Financial Statements to 19 09 30 and you can also download a copy of this summary here: Castle Trust's Financial Strength - September 2019.

    The summary is as follows:

    Castle Trust is a financial organisation that continues to go from strength to strength. We are a provider of investment, mortgage and consumer lending products, employing 220 people across our executive headquarters in the City of London, and an administration centre in Basingstoke, Hampshire. Launched in October 2012, Castle Trust’s principal shareholder is the leading private equity firm J.C. Flowers & Co., which currently manages circa $6 billion in assets. In the financial year to September 2019, Castle Trust made a profit before tax of £1.6m.

    Investments
    As at 30 September 2019, customers had £711 million invested into our Fortress Bonds, a product we launched in July 2014. In the last 12 months alone, interest payments of more than £19 million had been made to customers, with all payments (including capital repayments) being paid to those customers when due. Customer satisfaction was such that retention rates exceeded 70% with Castle Trust when their existing investment reached maturity.

    Lending
    As at 30 September 2019, Castle Trust’s total loan book stood at over £616 million. This included £487 million of mortgages secured on UK based, predominantly residential, property with the remainder of the book being unsecured consumer and wholesale lending. The business also had over £140 million of cash and cash equivalents that were held in reserve to meet short term funding requirements.

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  • 26/11/2019 | Group News

    Is Castle Trust affected by the FCA's announcement on mini-bonds?

    Castle Trust welcomes the FCA’s announcement today regarding its intervention on mini-bonds. These rules do not apply to our Fortress Bonds and there is no change to our customers being eligible for FSCS protection. We provide more information on the FCA's announcement in this article.

    Castle Trust welcomes the FCA’s announcement today regarding its intervention on mini-bonds. These rules do not apply to our Fortress Bonds and there is no change to our customers being eligible for FSCS protection. Castle Trust will continue to sell Fortress Bonds beyond 1 January 2020, when the FCA’s intervention takes effect. Castle Trust remains on course to become a bank in early 2020 and we will continue to provide you with updates as our application progresses.

    What is the FCA’s decision?
    The FCA has today announced it is introducing temporary rules to prevent consumer harm, by banning the promotion of high risk speculative mini-bonds to most retail consumers. The rules will apply from 1 January to 31 December 2020.

    How does this affect Castle Trust’s Fortress Bonds?
    These rules do not apply to Castle Trust’s Fortress Bonds and there is no action required by either Castle Trust or its customers. Because they are listed on the Irish Stock Exchange, Fortress Bonds are not considered to be ‘illiquid speculative securities’ and are therefore exempt from the FCA’s intervention.

    Why has the FCA taken this decision?
    The FCA has used its temporary product intervention powers because it is concerned about the widespread marketing of speculative illiquid securities, particularly online. They are high risk and difficult for most retail investors to understand. The FCA is concerned that retail customers may receive misleading information suggesting these products are more secure or less risky than is the case.

    Could this affect Fortress Bonds in the future?
    We do not expect the action taken by the FCA to affect Fortress Bonds in the future. In September 2019, we wrote to all Fortress Bond holders explaining that Castle Trust had been invited by our regulators to apply to become a bank. When we become a bank, we will consult with customers on the opportunity to have Fortress Bonds converted to bank deposits, still paying the same interest rate and still maturing on the same date. We will explain the process for doing this closer to the time we become a bank.

    Are Housa Bonds affected by these rules?
    No. Castle Trust no longer offers Housa Bonds and they do not fall within the scope of this intervention.

    How is Castle Trust performing at the moment?
    We are pleased with the performance of the business to date, which is why we believe that this is a good time for us to move towards becoming a bank. You can find information about our latest financial performance on our website. In the six months to March 2019, we made a profit after tax of £1.2m. Our next financial statements will be published in January 2020.

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  • 04/09/2019 | Group News

    Castle Trust invited to apply for a banking licence

    Castle Trust has been working closely with the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority on our banking licence application, which we submitted in early September 2019.

    September 2019

    In April 2018 we announced our intention to become a bank. Since then, we have been working closely with both UK regulators, the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority, on our banking licence application. We were recently invited to submit our application, which we did this week.

    This is a natural next step in Castle Trust’s journey that started when we were founded in 2012 with a simple mission: to help both investors and borrowers achieve their financial goals. Becoming a bank is an exciting milestone but it won’t change our focus on doing what’s right for our customers. In fact, it means we’ll be able to offer a broader range of products in the future.

    This stage of the rigorous application process is expected to take until spring next year. There is nothing existing customers need to do now and we’ll keep customers updated on a regular basis.

    Speaking about the application, Martin Bischoff, Chief Executive Officer said:

    “Being invited to apply for a banking licence by the UK regulators is testament to the strength of the careful planning and preparations we have put in place. Castle Trust has always been proud of being different, and now we’re in the process of becoming a different kind of bank. We’re very excited about the opportunities that come with a banking licence to better help our customers achieve their financial goals.”

    You can find more information about our banking application on our Q&A page.

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  • 18/07/2019 | Group News

    Our latest financial statement - March 2019

    Castle Trust has published its latest financial statement, as at 31 March 2019.

    Castle Trust has published its latest financial statement, as at 31 March 2019. The full detail of the statement can be found in the Financial Statements to 19 03 31 and you can also download a copy of this summary here: Castle Trust's Financial Strength - March 2019.

    The summary is as follows:

    Castle Trust is a financial organisation that continues to go from strength to strength. We are a provider of investment, mortgage and consumer lending products, employing over 220 people across our executive headquarters in the City of London, and an administration centre in Basingstoke, Hampshire. Launched in October 2012, Castle Trust’s principal shareholder is the leading private equity firm J.C. Flowers & Co., which currently manages circa £6 billion in assets.

    Investments
    As at 31 March 2019, customers had £737 million invested into our Fortress Bonds, a product we launched in July 2014. In the last 12 months alone, interest payments of more than £16 million had been made to customers, with all payments (including capital repayments) being paid to those customers when due. Customer satisfaction was such that approximately 73% of customers reinvested with Castle Trust when their existing investment reached maturity.

    Lending
    As at 31 March 2019, Castle Trust’s total loan book stood at over £656 million. This included £497 million of mortgages secured on UK based, predominantly residential, property with the remainder of the book being unsecured consumer and wholesale lending. The business also had over £163 million of cash and cash equivalents that were held in reserve to meet short term funding requirements.

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  • 10/04/2019 | Group News

    The FSCS cover limit for investments has been increased to £85,000

    The maximum FSCS claim limit per person for investments is now the same as deposits, but other differences between the two products still remain…
    With effect from 1 April 2019, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) has increased the maximum level of protection available to individuals on investments to £85,000 (£170,000 on jointly-held investments), which is the same limit already provided on deposits.

    Whilst the maximum level of cover per individual is now the same, it should be noted that any other differences in the cover provided by the scheme for deposits and investments remain, and that claims will continue to be subject to eligibility. More information about the FSCS and eligibility criteria can be found on their website here www.fscs.org.uk.
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  • 19/03/2019 | Group News

    New Managing Director for Omni Capital Retail Finance

    On 18th March 2019, Castle Trust announced a new appointment within Omni Capital Retail Finance.

    Castle Trust Capital plc is pleased to announce the appointment of Ronnie Denholm as Managing Director of Omni Capital Retail Finance, its point of sale finance division.

    Following the acquisition of Omni Capital Retail Finance in 2016, Castle Trust has restructured the operations of the business and has ambitious plans for progress.

    Ronnie is an experienced financial services leader and joins the business from Barclays Bank Plc, where he held various Managing Director roles across the business, including most recently Barclays Partner Finance, one of the UK’s largest point of sale finance companies.  Prior to joining Barclays, Ronnie held several senior leadership roles across the American Express group, with a strong growth record across each of the business areas he led.

    Martin Bischoff, Chief Executive Officer of the Castle Trust Group said: “Opportunities to work with someone of Ronnie’s calibre are rare, so we are privileged to have him on board.  As he’s demonstrated in the past, he is a very capable pair of hands to lead the business as it looks to grow.   We have big ambitions for Omni Capital Retail Finance, which Ronnie is integral to helping us achieve.”

    Speaking of his appointment, Ronnie said: “I am delighted to join Omni Capital Retail Finance.  The company has undergone a lot of changes recently and the prospect of leading the next phase of the company’s growth is an exciting challenge.  I look forward to working together with the team to consolidate the business’ position within the market and expand its operations further. “

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  • 18/09/2018 | Group News

    Senior management changes

    On 2nd May 2018, Castle Trust announced two further management changes.
    2nd May 2018

    Castle Trust announces two further management changes. 

    Barry Searle, the company’s current Chief Operating Officer will become the company’s new Managing Director (Mortgages).  Barry has been with Castle Trust since 2014, he has been instrumental in the growth of the company, especially within the mortgage division. He held the largest underwriting mandate and had overall responsibility for operations.  During Barry’s financial services career he has held senior roles at various institutions including Legal and General’s mortgage division and GMAC RFC.

    Stuart Sykes will be joining the company as Operations Director from MyJar, where he has been Group Customer Operations Director for the last four years.  He has previously held roles at ICICI Bank, RBS and Lloyds Banking Group.

    Speaking of the appointments, Martin Bischoff, Chief Executive Officer said:

    “As the company’s COO, Barry is already very familiar with both the industry and the aims of the business and was a natural choice to fill the role.  He has contributed enormously to the success of the business so far and will be a pivotal part of our transition to become a bank.

    “Stuart has extensive experience in the lending environment, particularly in consumer finance.  We are delighted that he has chosen to join us as we move into Castle Trust’s next phase.”

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Mortgages
Your property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage or any other debt secured on it. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage. Loans are subject to status, terms and conditions. This website is for information purposes only. If you are in any doubt regarding suitability of our products please seek advice from an accredited independent mortgage adviser.

Investments
You risk losing capital should Castle Trust become insolvent.

Castle Trust is the trading name of both Castle Trust Capital plc (company number 07454474) and Castle Trust Capital Management Limited (company number 07504954) both registered in England and Wales with registered offices at 10 Norwich Street, London, EC4A 1BD. Castle Trust Capital plc is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority, under reference number 541910. Castle Trust Capital Management Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, under reference number 541893.

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