Private banking in Scotland

Weatherbys Private Bank’s Scotland Office is thriving. Duncan Gourlay, Associate Director, who was tasked with launching the office in 2015, explains why more and more Scots are feeling part of the Weatherbys family.

The history of Weatherbys Private Bank Scotland

A name synonymous with horse racing, Weatherbys initially launched the Racing Bank to serve the equestrian community. Due to its unparalleled success and reputation for exceptional client service, this laid the foundation for Weatherbys Private Bank. We have long had a presence in Scotland, but we believed there was a gap in the market north of the border for a private bank such as ourselves.
 
Having started from a relatively small base in 2015, our Scottish headquarters, based in Edinburgh’s Rutland Square, is today home to eight staff. But the single office belies our national coverage. Some quick postcode analysis highlights that we have clients from as far north as Thurso to Dumfries in the south.

Working as a team of trusted advisers

During our early days, our strong connections with several leading law, solicitor and accountancy firms introduced us to many of our first clients. These numbers grew quickly, much of it by word of mouth. Today, our clients include everyone from professionals, young entrepreneurs, small business owners to traditional land-owners – the latter of whom have been overlooked by some private banks in the past for not being “fashionable”.

“Clients like speaking to someone they know and trust, who understands their unique financial arrangements.” – Duncan Gourlay, Associate Director

Powering innovation and sustainability across Scotland

Indeed, there is more innovation in the rural community than many might expect. Diversification is increasingly important for a landowner’s bottom line. The latest figures from the Scottish Government show that farms that have diversified boosted their annual income by an average of £21,300 last year.* The most common diversified activity continues to be renting out farm buildings, while micro electricity generation, wind turbines and hosting mobile telephone masts have proved profitable for many farmers..
 
One of our clients, the Torrisdale Castle Estate, secured a loan from us to help fund a hydro-electric scheme backed by a 20-year government subsidy. The estate subsequently opened a gin distillery by utilising this hydro power with expectations to sell around 5,000 bottles of its Kintyre Gin a year. Today, it sells three times as many bottles with plans afoot to open a visitor centre and café.

Scottish Government Statistics

Working with you, from generation to generation

“We offer a traditional banking model offering a personal service people are looking for from their Private Bank. Clients like talking to someone they know and trust, who understands their unique financial arrangements. At our heart is a personal service focused on investment advice, lending and financial planning.” – Hayley Robinson, Private Banker. 

We look at all aspects of your financial life to get a complete picture of your finances. We consider your assets, your income and your outgoings, and assess your future spending requirements. Once we have understood your goals and looked at your current investments, we will apply our three key areas of expertise: cash flow and tax planning, structuring affairs efficiently, and investments.
 
As part of this, we focus on having a financial roadmap in place, in the form of a cash flow plan that will help you map out your financial requirements and demonstrate how various different scenarios might affect those needs. Not only will a clear cash flow plan help you to save and eventually spend their money in the most tax-efficient manner, but it also gives you a deeper understanding of what you are working towards.

Business as usual at Weatherbys Private Bank

Until the Covid-19 pandemic, travelling across the country to see clients was a key part of our bankers’ role. You get to understand so much more regarding a client’s situation when you meet them face to face and it helps build a personal relationship, so they become part of the Weatherbys’ family. It’s why we pride ourselves on being good listeners.
 
During the lockdowns and social restrictions, visits were replaced with video and phone calls, and a constant stream of emails. Many of our clients live alone, so keeping in touch, ensuring they were okay and checking whether there was anything they needed, was very important to us. And with the prospect of restrictions being lifted in the not-too-distant future, Duncan, Hayley and Graeme will be back on the road. A visit to the Isle of Skye, beckons.