Pictured: Greywalls near Edinburgh
It was a year of expansion for the group with staff numbers up 22%, from 302 to 371, and the opening of an office in Manchester to grow the private banking client base in the North West. The group now has eight offices throughout the UK, including London, Edinburgh and Wellingborough.
Founded in 1770, Weatherbys is a seventh-generation, family-owned business. The group includes Weatherbys Private Bank, Weatherbys Racing Bank, Arkle Finance and insurance broker Weatherbys Hamilton LLP.
CEO Roger Weatherby said: “We are proud to report the highest profit in our history, but for us as a long-term business we look at our overall return across the economic cycle.
“Our aim is to achieve a long-term return on capital that allows us to meet the needs of all our stakeholders, especially our clients. To do so, we must invest in technology and people to provide exceptional client service levels, supporting our staff to develop, and provide an appropriate return to our shareholders, all while offering good outcomes for borrowers and depositors.”
The report shows that as well as its investment in people, last year the group spent over £9.5m – the equivalent of 63% of profits – on Technology and Operations. Though the bank is investing heavily in technology, Roger added: “It will be a long time before a computer or digital bot can take on the complexity that a banker can handle – people are supercomputers in their own right. Our clients will always be able to talk to their banker if they wish.”
Weatherbys Private Bank recorded outstanding feedback from clients, with 98% feeling treated as valued clients, and the same proportion agreeing or strongly agreeing that the bank was accessible and responsive. A factor in this level of satisfaction may be that, according to data, 97% of client calls were answered within three rings. The bank has a net promoter score of 73 – high for the industry – showing clients are happy to refer Weatherbys to their friends, family and colleagues.
The bank has also set tough sustainability targets. It is already carbon neutral and aims to become net zero before 2030.