Questions and Answers
We have put together a question and answer section to help answer some questions our customers may have on our banking licence application:
Why is Castle Trust becoming a bank?
Castle Trust was founded in 2012 to provide innovative products to both savers and borrowers and has steadily grown over time. Our current status as an investment firm limits the range of products that we can offer and it is a natural next step for us to become a bank as we look to broaden our product range and better meet our customers’ needs.
What products will Castle Trust offer in the future?
As well as continuing to offer fixed term products as we do today, becoming a bank will enable us to launch a competitive easy access account. We’re very excited about this and we’ll provide you with more information about our new products once we’re a bank.
What do I need to do now?
In March 2020, we issued a Practice Statement Letter to our Fortress Bond and Income Housa customers, if you are a Growth Housa customer you will receive your letter shortly. The Practice Statement Letter contains some important information about the opportunity to convert investments into bank deposits paying the same return and maturing on the same date. Customers will have the opportunity to vote on the proposals later this year and we will send more information closer to the time. Aside from reviewing the Practice Statement Letter related to your product, there is no further action required at this stage. If you have any questions about the process, you can contact us on our normal freephone number or our dedicated email address email@example.com.
What happens to my existing Fortress Bond when Castle Trust becomes a bank?
Existing Fortress Bonds will continue to pay the same interest rate and run for the same term. We are consulting with customers on the opportunity to have Fortress Bonds reclassified as bank deposits, still paying the same interest rate and still maturing on the same date. There is a specific legal process, called a scheme of arrangement, we are following to enable this to happen, this is a proposal put forward by us that would require the approval of the Courts and a positive vote in favour by Fortress Bond holders. To initiate this process, we have issued a Practice Statement Letter, which is available to view on our dedicated Scheme of Arrangement page.
What do I need to know about the scheme of arrangement?
Castle Trust’s journey to become a fully authorised bank will create the opportunity for customers to convert their investments into bank deposits, still paying the same return and maturing on the same date. There is a specific legal process, called a scheme of arrangement, we are following to enable this to happen. In March 2020 we initiated this process by sending Practice Statement Letters to our Fortress Bond and Income Housa customers, if you are a Growth Housa customer you will receive your letter shortly. You can find copies of the letters on our scheme of arrangement page.
What is the difference between a bank deposit and a Fortress Bond?
In short, a bank deposit is money held in an account, such as a savings account, offered by a bank. A Fortress Bond is an investment (fixed rate bond) that pays interest to investors in a lump sum, either quarterly or at maturity, and returns the original amount invested at the end of the term. If you’re interested in the technical side, you can find out more information on our website about how Castle Trust issues Fortress Bonds.
What will happen to rates when Castle Trust becomes a bank?
Existing Fortress Bonds will continue to pay the same rates of interest. As we launch new products, we’ll continue to review the market to ensure that the rates on our products remain competitive.
Can I continue to invest with Castle Trust?
We are progressing through our banking licence application and at the present time, we are only able to offer investment options to existing customers with maturing Fortress Bonds. If you are an existing customer, you are able to reinvest any maturity funds with us by phone, post, or using the Self Service Portal if you have registered for an online account. If you have recently posted a new application to us, we will be processing all applications postmarked on or before Friday 20 March 2020.
I have a Fortress Bond coming up to maturity – can I reinvest it?
Yes, we’ll contact you before maturity in the normal way so you can provide us with instructions on whether you want to reinvest, part-invest or withdraw your funds.
How is Castle Trust performing at the moment?
We’re pleased with the performance of the business to date, which is why we believe this is a good time for us to make this journey towards becoming a bank. You can find information about our latest financial performance on our website. In the financial year to September 2019, we made a profit before tax of £1.6m.