Weatherbys doubles up in Scotland as personal touch pays off

Weatherbys Private Bank is doubling up on its presence in Edinburgh after a surge in business north of the Border.

Duncan Gourlay - 'serious intentions to further develop and grow our business in Scotland'. Picture: Julie Bull
Duncan Gourlay - 'serious intentions to further develop and grow our business in Scotland'. Picture: Julie Bull

The seventh-generation firm opened an office in the capital in 2015 to support its Scottish customers and has since seen business numbers double across key measures including deposits, lending, investments and client numbers.

The bank – part of the Weatherbys brand, which is best-known for its activities in horseracing – has now taken a lease on an office in the capital’s Rutland Square that provides it with double the space of its previous base on the same street.

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Duncan Gourlay, associate director and head of Weatherbys Private Bank in Scotland, said the lender now has six full-time members of staff in Edinburgh with two more to be recruited shortly.

He said: “We have serious intentions to further develop and grow our business in Scotland. Weatherbys offering, which remains full-service private banking, lending and wealth management, and our independent ownership is now unique in the marketplace.

“Free from corporate constraints this approach to banking – treating clients as individuals, being responsive, reliable, flexible, forward looking and keeping things simple and straightforward – is paying dividends.”

The bank, which is headquartered in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, recently appointed Jacqui Low to its advisory board as part of its Scottish growth plans.

Low, executive chairman of Edinburgh-based communications company Indigo, is the chair of Partick Thistle football club. She was Scotland’s first female special adviser and has held a number of board appointments, including as vice-chairman of health information service NHS 24 and serving two terms on the council of CBI Scotland. The bank has built up a diverse client base in Scotland, encompassing everything from young entrepreneurs to traditional land-owning families.

This year Weatherbys reported pre-tax profits of £5.7 million, which compared with £6.8m a year earlier though that figure included a gain of £1.1m from the disposal of the bank’s shares in Visa Europe.

The total assets of the group increased by 20 per cent to £759m, marking a continuation of the sustained growth which has seen assets double since 2013.

Customer lending balances grew by 18 per cent to £388m with a loan-to-deposit ratio of 55 per cent. Lending has grown by 160 per cent in the last five years.