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Conister Bank makes history with landmark UK Deposit Taking Licence

24 October 2023

The Isle of Man’s longest established community bank, Conister, has made history by becoming the first Island-based bank to secure a deposit taking licence in the UK.

Over the years, many British banks of stature have gained subsequent deposit taking permissions in the Isle of Man - but Conister Bank has now become unique by reversing the trend and being awarded the same permissions in the UK.

The deposit-taking authorisation, which has been given the green light by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority, will pave the way for Conister to achieve one of its strategic ambitions of entering the UK deposit taking market. These deposits along with its Isle of Man sourced deposits, will further drive Conister's lending expansion both locally and in the UK.

Conister, a local finance institution since 1935, has been active in the UK for a number of years and currently lends about £0.35 billion to UK SMEs per annum.

Gaining this accreditation enables Conister to expand its balance sheet substantially, subject to regulatory capital requirements, using a blend of UK deposits and wholesale funding.

Conister Bank’s Managing Director, Douglas Grant, said establishing a UK branch for deposit taking was a significant moment in the Bank’s long history.

“It is a testament to our professionalism, ambition, and credibility that we have achieved something that no other local bank has ever done – an Island-based bank gaining approval from the UK regulator for deposit taking. This is good news not only for Conister but also for the Island.

“This authorisation reinforces the reputation of the Island’s regulatory environment, and we could not have achieved this goal without the support of the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority. We are, and we will remain, an Island based business and as such this authorisation will bring additional employment opportunities to our community.

“Across both territories, we remain committed to being a customer-focussed, regulatory compliant and credit conscious bank with a clear licencing strategy. Conister is on course to deliver on its stated objectives, and access to this additional source of liquidity is a key pillar to support our continuing growth,” Douglas added.