Manx Financial Group PLC, the island-based AIM listed financial services group, which includes Conister Bank Limited, Edgewater Associates Limited, Manx FX Limited and Conister Finance & Leasing Ltd, has published its annual report.

Jim Mellon, who is executive chairman of Manx Financial Group PLC, was pleased.

He said: ’I am pleased to announce that the outcome for 2018 showed a broadly similar profit to 2017, despite the figures including the expense of further investments in infrastructure, the most important being the opening of a new UK full-service headquarters in Newbury, Berkshire and a significant upgrade in our IT infrastructure.

’We have continued to strengthen our balance sheet and our new business pipeline remains buoyant for all our core activities. As a result, we are in an excellent position to report further success, both at the interims and at the full year.’

Conister Bank Limited exceeded its targets for the year with new lending increasing by 38.4% to £102.1 million (2017: £73.7 million), driven by a 41.9% uplift in lending on the Isle of Man and a substantial increase in demand for its structured product range in the UK.

Net loan book growth of 21.0% to £148.3 million (2017: £122.5 million) has been achieved with no deterioration in loan book quality with performing loans remaining at 97.2%. In anticipation of the increase in UK demand, the bank opened a fully equipped new office in both Newbury and Manchester.

Operating expenses decreased by £0.2 million to £6.0 million (2017: £6.2 million), but this masks the investment made in technology, which will underpin the bank’s growth in 2019 and beyond. The bank successfully installed a new deposit system in 2018 and this has helped manage the growth of the deposit base by 11.4% to £158.5 million (2017: £142.3 million).

Douglas Grant, managing director of Conister Bank Limited, said: ’Despite the shadow of economic uncertainty, Conister Bank exceeded expectations for the year and achieved record lending in 2018.

’Our balanced approach to acquiring businesses; servicing the UK wholesale funding market and developing online lending to our island community, allows us to enhance our customer’s experience and develop customer centric products’.