St James’s Place to launch banking service

St James’s Place to launch banking service

St James’s Place has announced plans to introduce a new banking service next month.

Chief executive David Bellamy said the firm would be teaming up with Metro Bank after revealing St James’s Place’s results for 2014.

He said this would offer eligible clients a “fully functioning banking service”.

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Shares in the FTSE 100 advisory firm jumped by nearly 5 per cent after it announced better-than-expected profits of nearly £600m.

This was up 30 per cent on profits for 2013 while its funds under management hit £52bn in 2014, a 17 per cent increase on the previous year.

David Bellamy, chief executive of St James’s Place, said: “Our success has been built on our fundamental belief in the value of a human relationship and the highly personal interaction, putting the client and adviser at the core of everything we do.

“That focus will not change and will continue to be the foundation of our future growth.”

The distribution arm of the business was hit by an increased loss of £10.9m, but the firm has put this down to its acquisition of advisory firm Henley Group last year.

Mr Bellamy said: “We’re going to start with the introduction of a new banking service in April, The St James’s Place money management account.

“In addition, the account will have the added benefit of an integrated secured overdraft facility, providing immediate access to short-term funds secured against the value of their St James’s Place investment portfolio.

“We are delighted to be working with Metro Bank and look forward to being able to offer this additional facility to our clients.”

The account will offer cheques, debit cards, mobile access and other online services.

Meanwhile, the firm’s results also revealed the number of advisers at St James’s Place had increased by 10.3 per cent to 2,835.

Analyst view

Alan Devlin, an analyst at Barclays, said: “We believe St James’s Place is the best-placed UK insurer to benefit from the myriad of regulatory changes over the past couple of years, including the retail distribution review, the pensions freedoms announced at the last UK budget and the increase in the Isa allowance.

“The record sales, assets under management and cash generation in the financial year 2014 is tangible evidence of this.”