The latest insights from Weatherbys Bank

How our ability to see one customer’s potential led to the launch of a landmark new drink

Without access to funds, it’s almost impossible for a small business to expand. At Weatherbys, we don’t think that’s right. Which is why when we can help, we do.

Once upon a time, a sound business plan and a solid track record was enough to secure a loan but now often nothing short of an already-thriving turnover can convince most banks to lend significant sums.


Two years ago, we were approached by a country estate on Scotland’s Mull of Kintyre looking to increase its earning potential: at the time its main source of income was from holiday lets.


However, the estate’s topography lent itself to hydroelectricity, a near-limitless way to produce energy. Yet despite having the pledge of a 20-year income stream from a planned hydro scheme, its then-bank refused a £500,000 funding package.


That’s when we stepped in.


Where the other bank had measured the estate’s ability to pay based on its income at the time of applying, Weatherbys took a longer view, factoring in the money the scheme was going to make as well as the assets that backed it.


Why? Because we don’t rely on the rigidity of credit scoring: instead we look at the bigger picture, using our knowledge of a client’s financial situation to make an informed decision.


In this case, the estate owner’s salary and the value of the estate’s property were sufficient to secure loan repayments.


And that’s where things got, well, interesting.


Once the hydro scheme was up and running the estate had another ambition: to make gin using renewable energy generated from the hydro. We helped out again – – building distilleries isn’t cheap – and by 2016, the first bottle of Kintyre Gin was produced (take our word for it, it’s very good).


In truth, the trouble the Torrisdale Castle estate had before we helped out is surprisingly common.


Great Britain is home to a large number of country estates but many owners struggle to preserve them. Even when they come up with innovative ways to bring income in, funding is always the biggest hurdle to overcome.


Since 1994, Weatherbys private bank has specialised in funding the creative dreams of our clients. We understand that life is complicated, and finance even more so. That’s why our private bankers build enduring relationships, supporting clients and their families with expertise and bespoke advice at every stage of their lives.


Because of this approach, a country estate wanting to leverage its assets became a serious player in the independent gin market: something that we can all raise a glass to.


To find out more about Weatherbys Private Bank and our services, please contact the Private Bank team