New structure for Conister expansion

CONISTER Trust is seeing the new year in with a new building, a substantial new contract and a new corporate structure.

Following the introduction of its TransSend pre-paid card division in 2007, the Manx company is altering its structure to enable this and its banking to expand independently under the appropriate regulatory bodies.

Chief executive Jerry Linehan said: 'Operationally, the businesses of the banking and prepaid card divisions are quite dissimilar. This allows the business to grow and expand in the two divisions and supports their respective regulatory requirements.'

On January 17, shareholders will vote on the restructuring scheme that will see their Conister Trust plc shares move on a one-for-one basis to the new trading company, Conister Financial Group plc.

It is hoped the changes will be sanctioned by the Isle of Man Court on January 25 so the new structure can take effect at the end of January and new share certificates can be distributed in early February.

While a new logo has been designed to brand the new Conister Financial Group identity, customers should not see any changes to the banking division's identity, which will continue to operate as Conister Trust plc under the Financial Supervision Commission.

The pre-paid card division will retain the title TransSend Holdings Limited and fall largely under the jurisdiction of the Financial Services Authority. An application is currently with the FSA to expand the cards throughout Europe.

Pre-paid card business currently comes from the Island and from markets outside Europe such as the US, where Conister has recently formed a new partnership with CompuCredit Corporation's UK subsidiary. With 4.3 million customer accounts generating post-tax income of $107.5 million, CompuCredit's association with Conister is expected to markedly increase card issues.

President Rich House said: 'Our relationship with Conister is key to supporting our expansion within the UK market, where we see substantial opportunities.'

The partnership represents Conister's largest card programme to date and Mr Linehan said it would enable the company to use its Mastercard membership to open new revenue opportunities.

Organisation of the new structure scheme has been three months in the preparation, during which time Conister has also moved into its new, custom-built premises behind Manx Telecom at the Isle of Man Business Park off Cooil Road. An official opening ceremony is planned for later this month.

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