One of Britain’s few privately owned banks, Weatherbys Bank believes that traditional values, customer service and attention to detail have contributed to strong year on year growth. Assets were up 31% to £500m and loans and deposits rose by 26% and 34% respectively.
The family-owned firm is currently headed up by CEO Roger Weatherby and his brother Johnny, the bank’s chairman.
Unlike publicly quoted banks, it doesn’t face huge pressures from shareholders to perform in the short-term. Instead, its position within a 7th generation family company allows it to take a long-term view.
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While other big banks have “no-go lending” areas including people over 70, trusts and buy-to-let mortgages without independent income to cover the interest payments, Weatherbys Bank can lend to all these groups because it looks at the full picture of their finances rather than the box-ticking credit approval approach of the bigger banks.
Weatherbys will also lend to people without requiring them to transfer their investment portfolio to the bank. It works with a panel of top stockbrokers to introduce their clients to a broker who will manage their investments under the careful watch of their Weatherbys private banker.
Weatherbys Bank’s lending rose to c.£234m, split roughly equally between London and rural property and it looks set to increase lending in the current economic environment. The maximum loan is around the £5m mark allowing the bank to attract new customers with a combination of safety and service.
A strong focus on personal service has seen the bank reject call centres so its clients can always talk to the same dedicated bank manager – all of whom spend much of their time visiting clients. In fact, most new clients come to Weatherbys through word-of-mouth recommendations.
Although it has a long tradition in the horseracing industry, most of the bank’s new clients are high net worth individuals from a range of backgrounds looking for a better banking service.
The bank’s highly qualified private banking and wealth management team hail from competitors such as Coutts and Adam & Co as well as major players such as Lloyds and HSBC. Led by private banking director Adrian Crichton, who was for many years a director at Barclays International and Private Banking, they provide a high quality banking service to clients with at least £3m of net assets or £300,000 annual income.
While the firm’s focus is firmly on traditional private banking, Weatherbys also gives wealth planning and investment advice through an independent, fee-driven offering as part of its remit to look after all the banking needs of individuals and their families.
The wider Weatherbys business has built a reputation for combining traditional qualities of service with innovation in the financial arena since it was established in 1770. Weatherbys Bank obtained its licence in the early 1990s.