Castle Trust have successfully received its banking licence following an application at the end of 2019 and appointed a new chairman.
This successful application means that Castle Trust is now authorised with restrictions as a bank and now enters into a mobilisation period.
The new bank has said that it is “well advanced” with this process and is aiming to apply for the restrictions on its deposit taking to be lifted in time for it to start taking 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 at Castle Trust, 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, Castle Trust’s majority shareholder, added: “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 have also appointed 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.
Pym 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.”
Bischoff added: “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.”
Hanford also commented on the 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.”
In addition to appointing a new chair, Castle Trust has also appointed two new independent non-executive directors.
The new senior independent director and chair of the audit committee has been confirmed as Eric Anstee FCA.
Anstee has chaired audit Committees for the likes of OneSavings Bank plc, Sun Life Financial of Canada Limited and Paypoint plc.
He said of his appointment: “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.”
Pym 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.
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.”
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.”
Bischoff added: “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.”