Conister Bank reports strong growth in lending

Douglas Grant
  • 2020 lending totals £36.7m, surpassing 2019 by 16%
  • Conister Bank has allocated £10 million to provide financial assistance to local businesses affected by COVID-19.

Conister Bank, part of Manx Financial Group PLC (AIM:MFX), has announced record lending levels in 2020, with advances totalling £36.7m.

This represents a 16% rise on the total amount lent in 2019, providing crucial funding locally to both personal and commercial customers who attempt to navigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The growth in funding can in part be attributed to Conister Bank’s new online lending platform that enables both individuals and businesses to apply for finance outside normal business hours.  The Bank’s online offering now processes almost half of its lending and is expected to increase to 70% by the end of 2021. Further, the Bank has entered into new markets including ‘scheme’ finance for annual purchases, such as insurance and indemnity premiums and membership fees.

In March, the Bank partnered with the Isle of Man Government to assist local businesses applying for the Isle of Man Disruption Loan Guarantee Agreement (DLGA). Conister Bank also received accreditation for the Coronavirus Business Working Capital Loan designed specifically for businesses that cannot access working capital via their banks or do not qualify for assistance via the DLGA. Conister Bank is the Island’s only bank to be accredited to both of the Government’s financial assistance schemes.  The Bank has also allocated a further £10 million to provide financial assistance to local businesses.

The UK subsidiary of the Bank, Conister Finance & Leasing Limited (“Conister”), also achieved its highest lending levels in 2020 by advancing deals totalling £131m, a 7% increase on the total amount lent in 2019. This was achieved by providing critical funding to small and medium sized enterprises as they navigated the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Collectively Conister Bank and its subsidiary has lent £167.2m representing a 9% increase on the total amount advanced in 2019. 

Douglas Grant, Managing Director of Conister Bank told B365: ‘We listen to our customers and constantly find solutions that work for them.  This year we have enhanced our online lending ability; entered new markets; deepened our Approved Partner relationships and supported the local SME market when it mattered most.  In addition to supporting the government’s COVID-19 business loan schemes, we took action ourselves and set aside £10 million to help limit the damage the pandemic was having on our community.  We are proud to be the Island’s only independent bank, and for us, it was an easy decision to make.”