Latest news

Charter Savings Bank named one of the UK’s most inspiring companies

12 May 2017

Charter Court Financial Services Limited (CCFS), the owner of Charter Savings Bank, has been named as one of the UK’s most inspiring companies in an influential report which showcases the country’s most dynamic businesses.

The Wolverhampton-based financial services company has been included in the London Stock Exchange Group’s 1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain 2017 report.

The report features small and medium-sized companies from more than 40 sectors which have demonstrated positive growth in revenue and strong performance in their areas of expertise.

Founded in 2008, it is the first time CCFS has been included in the report, and comes just months after it was ranked, for the second year running, in The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For. CCFS was named the third best company to work for in 2017, after featuring tenth on the list in 2016.

CCFS employs more than 450 people. It offers savings products which regularly feature at the top of the best buy tables, and is a top 20 UK mortgage lender.

Ian Lonergan, CEO of CCFS, commented: “We’re delighted to be named one of the London Stock Exchange Group’s 1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain 2017.

“To achieve recognition in such a prestigious publication less than 10 years after the company was founded is testament to the hard work and dedication everyone who works for the business has put in.”

Xavier Rolet, Chief Executive of the London Stock Exchange Group, highlighted CCFS as an example of how London’s dominance is being challenged by the West Midlands and other regions.

“CCFS is a successful specialist bank that is growing rapidly and has created more than 450 jobs in a sector which is traditionally associated with the Square Mile in the City of London,” he said.

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Full Year 2016 Results - Another strong year of growth

25 April 2017

Charter Court Financial Services (“Charter Court”), the specialist bank and owner of Precise Mortgages, Charter Savings Bank and Exact Mortgage Experts, today announced its results for the year to 31 December 2016.

Highlights

highlights

Ian Lonergan, CEO of Charter Court, said:

“Charter Court’s 2016 results reflect our position as one of the country’s leading specialist mortgage banks by originations. We are tightly focused on our growth markets of specialist buy to let and residential mortgage lending. Since 2008 we have purpose-built a strong distribution, operating and risk management platform from the ground up to address these markets and I am pleased to see that the outcome of that hard work is continuing to be delivered in our financial performance. We remain focused on using our expertise to deliver superior results for our customers and investors.

“Charter Court performed strongly in 2016, capturing strong demand whilst maintaining our strict control of risk. Mortgage originations grew 55% to £2.5 billion, as we maintained our distribution leadership across more than 20,000 intermediaries and affirmed our position as the largest single specialist bank provider through the country’s leading mortgage clubs and networks. Balance sheet growth continued to translate into top line and profit growth and strong organic capital generation in 2016. We are particularly pleased with the performance of our scalable, highly automated, purpose-built operating platform and this allows us to control risk cost effectively. The quality of our mortgage book remains excellent with only 14 out of 23,113 accounts 3 months or greater in arrears, representing 0.06% of our loan book.

“Looking ahead, we see further opportunity as the high street banks continue to struggle with the complexity and sophistication required to serve our specialist mortgage markets. I believe we are well-positioned to meet the challenges and explore the opportunities that the current market environment presents. We expect to continue to leverage our large and growing retail deposit base, alongside access to the Bank of England’s Term Funding Scheme (TFS), and remain strongly capitalised. I am confident that this combination of factors and the strength and momentum in our business will further enhance our ability to deliver on our strategy for sustainable, profitable growth and capital generation whilst optimising our net interest margin and maintaining a very low cost of risk.”

Key Financial results, ratios and metrics

table

Mortgage Lending

We experienced strong BTL lending growth over the first half as volumes increased significantly ahead of the introduction of higher stamp duty on BTL properties and maintained a year-on-year increase over the second half of 2016 despite the backdrop of macroeconomic and political uncertainty. All new lending was generated organically and strictly in line with our clearly defined risk appetite. This continued to be reflected in our credit performance, recording an underlying cost of risk of just 0.7 bps, down from 1.6bps in 2015. Our net loan book increased by £1.86 billion or 96% to £3.81 billion as at 31 December 2016 (31 December 2015: £1.95 billion). Approximately 58% of our net lending was to the BTL sector with the remainder consisting of specialist residential primary mortgages, second charge mortgages and bridging loans. In line with our strategy, we saw an increase in more complex mortgage lending, for example to SPVs, limited company landlords and for Houses of Multiple Occupancy. As a specialist buy to let and residential lender, all of our lending is secured and we have no direct exposure to the SME or corporate sectors.

Retail savings and funding

We maintain a sophisticated funding platform and view funding as a key component of our business strategy in its own right, not simply a means of supporting asset growth. We continued to pursue our diverse funding strategy over the year, increasing retail deposits by 120% to approximately £3.43 billion at 31 December 2016. This large and growing retail deposit base enhanced our flexibility and together with wholesale funding through securitisation, repo lines, our uncommitted funding facility with a Tier 1 bank and access to the Bank of England’s liquidity facility, has allowed us to raise funds in a cost-efficient manner. This flexible approach to funding allows us to take advantage of market pricing opportunities as they arise and means we are not reliant on pricing or demand in any one market or segment.

Capital position

Our capital and liquidity position provides a solid foundation to help us build and grow and we remain strongly capitalised. As at 31 December 2016, we had a fully loaded CET1 capital ratio of 15.8% (31 December 2015: 21.3%) and a leverage ratio of 5.46% (31 December 2015: 6.18%). We expect to continue to generate capital and adopt a prudent approach to liquidity that provides adequate comfort as the economy steers itself through the prevailing uncertainty.

Business and strategy update

As one of the market leaders in specialist mortgage lending by originations, we have again demonstrated our ability to grow our asset base organically, with a robust performance in 2016 where we completed £2.5 billion (FY 2015: £1.6 billion) in loans to customers. Charter Court’s continued growth is underpinned by the strong relationships we have developed with our partners who deliver our products. We have full coverage of mortgage intermediaries operating throughout the UK who enable us to access customers who are geographically dispersed with wide-ranging needs that are not being met by the high street lenders. Supporting our distribution channels is the automated point of sale digital platform and through its ease of use and speed of service, we are able to deliver a first class service to our partners and end customers. With a deep understanding of the mortgage market and embedded skills and experience, we have gained market share through effective product innovation. Above all, we have done this without compromising on risk management which has allowed us to maintain very low cost of risk whilst delivering increased profitable growth and returns. We remain focused on continuing to develop our products that not only meet customer needs but also deliver sustainable profitable growth.

Outlook

We expect that the economic uncertainty following the referendum on leaving the EU combined with the impact of regulatory change in the BTL mortgage market will lead to a degree of disruption for many of those companies which participate in this sector. However, our BTL applications in 2017 to date remain strong and we are confident that our depth of experience, our strong risk management expertise and the nimbleness of our decision making and operations will continue to position us to react and adapt to change and to explore opportunities that arise as we further pursue our strategy to drive sustainable profitable growth and capital generation.

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Wolverhampton firm tops Sunday Times list

10 March 2017

Charter Court Financial Services (CCFS) has been ranked third in The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For 2017.

CCFS employs more than 450 people at its headquarters in Wolverhampton. It offers an award-winning range of mortgages, and savings products which regularly feature at the top of the best buy tables.

The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For is an annual survey ranking the cream of Britain's happy and motivated workforces. Its appearance each year is now a highly anticipated event in the business calendar.

The survey is widely acknowledged as the most extensive research into employee engagement carried out in the country due to the methods of data-gathering and analysis it uses. Scores and ratings are based on employee opinions, and each year the questionnaires are revised and updated to reflect current workplace concerns.

Ian Lonergan, CEO of CCFS, commented: “We’re delighted to be named in the top ten of the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For survey for the second year running. We would not have been able to achieve this prestigious award without our fantastic employees. This accolade, which is voted for by our employees, is a great acknowledgement of the culture and working environment we’ve all worked so hard to achieve.”

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Strong capitalisation provides the foundation for solid growth in 2015 (Unaudited full year 2015 results)

08 November 2016

Charter Court Financial Services (“Charter Court”), the specialist challenger bank and owner of Precise Mortgages and Charter Savings Bank, recorded a strong financial and operational performance in 2015.

Highlights

  • Mortgage balance sheet up 126% to £1.95 billion
  • New mortgage originations up 120% to £1.61 billion
  • Net interest income up 190% to £45 million at Net Interest Margin of 2.53%
  • Profit before tax of £27 million (2014: £1 million loss)
  • Profit after tax of £21 million (2014: £2 million)
  • Cost income ratio halved to 55% (2014: 107%) driven by lending growth and increasing operating leverage
  • Exceptional asset quality with a three months-plus arrears rate of just 0.05% and low cost of risk at 2.7bps
  • Customer deposits of £1.56 billion with more than 36,000 savings accounts opened from March 2015 to December 2015
  • Common Equity Tier 1 Ratio of 21%

arrears rate based on mortgages as at month end December 2015.
CML mortgages >3 months in arrears at end of Q2 2015.

Ian Lonergan, CEO of Charter Court, said:

“Charter Court performed strongly in 2015. Our focus on capital strength and liquidity provided the foundation for our solid growth and enabled us to continue to build a strong presence and reputation in our chosen property lending markets. We are strongly capitalised and continue to generate capital organically. We delivered solid lending growth during the year, increased profitability and exceptional operational efficiency. New mortgage originations increased to £1.61 billion in 2015, a level similar to those of our listed specialist challenger bank peers. This top line growth translated into significantly increased profits, reflecting the downward trajectory of our cost income ratio as the benefits from the inherent efficiency and scalability of our highly efficient, purpose-built operating platform started to flow through.

“Our sophisticated risk management systems embedded across all aspects of our business continued to underpin the exceptional quality of our assets. This resulted in a Cost of Risk of just 2.7 bps and just six mortgage loans standing three or more monthly payments in arrears at year end, equating to an arrears rate of just 0.05% compared to the CML mortgage industry average arrears rate of 1.19% . Buy-to-let (BTL) lending represented the largest asset class, accounting for approximately 62% of our total long term lending in 2015, with the remaining 38% comprising residential home owners.

“The successful launch of Charter Savings Bank in March 2015 following the award of our banking license in January 2015 exceeded our expectations, attracting £1.56 billion in deposits in its first nine months of operation to year end. Our success was driven by offering straightforward, transparent savings products at great rates which have consistently featured in the consumer best buy tables. The growth and scale of our deposit base has provided significant flexibility, funding the majority of our mortgage book at year end.

“Looking ahead, the business is off to a strong start in 2016 on both the deposit taking and lending side and I am confident we will continue to deliver strong asset growth and drive accelerating profitability while continuing to maintain robust capital ratios”

Key financial results, ratios and metrics

Key balance sheet data (£m) 2015 2014
Mortgage balance sheet 1,945 859
Mortgage originations 1,610 731
Retail deposits 1,562 n/a
Total assets 2,605 908
CET1 capital 141 n/a
     
Key income statement data (£m) 2015 2014
Net interest income 44.9 15.5
Total income 60.5 18.8
Profit / Loss before tax 27.2 -1.4
Profit / Loss after tax 21.4 2.0

About Charter Court Financial Services Limited (Charter Court)

Charter Court is one of the UK’s leading specialist challenger banks, founded in 2008 by its senior management team and purpose built to focus on specialist BTL, residential, bridging and second mortgage lending. We operate through our three highly rated brands – Precise Mortgages, Exact Mortgage Experts and Charter Savings Bank – providing buy-to-let and specialist residential mortgages; mortgage servicing, administration and credit consultancy; and retail savings products. Our focus on strong capitalisation and access to liquidity provides the foundation for our growth strategy. At 31 December 2015 our total mortgage balance sheet stood at £1.95 billion generated through our relationships with more than 16,000 intermediaries nationwide, while Charter Savings Bank had attracted £1.56 billion in retail deposits from its launch in March 2015 to 31 December 2015. Underpinning our success, our risk management expertise and best-of-breed automated technology and systems ensure efficient processing, strong credit and collateral risk control and speed of product development and innovation. These factors have enabled our strong balance sheet growth and the exceptional credit quality of our mortgage assets. Charter Court is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

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Wolverhampton Firm Tops Sunday Times List

01 March 2016

Charter Court Financial Services (CCFS) which is based in Wolverhampton has been ranked tenth in The Sunday Times Best 100 Companies to Work For 2016.

The firm employs over 350 people at its headquarters in Wolverhampton Business Park and owns Charter Savings Bank, one of the UK’s leading challenger banks with over 40,000 savings accounts and balances in excess of £1.7billion since its launch in March 2015.

Over the past eight years CCFS has experienced unprecedented growth, and is a significant employer in the area. Since 2008 the workforce has grown from just 20 employees to 362.

Ian Lonergan, CEO of CCFS commented: “With the launch of Charter Savings Bank and developments in our mortgage business, the business has trebled in size in under two years. But we don’t want this growth to change how we do business or alter our friendly work environment. We have a fantastic team and we always look for ways to make work a more positive and rewarding experience for them so it’s great to have our efforts recognised by our employees and The Sunday Times. We are always on the lookout for more talented people to join our team and this award will undoubtedly help us achieve that in the future.”

The Sunday Times Best Companies to Work is a highly prestigious award which champions the importance of maintaining a happy and motivated workforce in successful high growth businesses.

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