St James’s Place has announced it is launching a banking service powered by Metro Bank, as its distribution arm posts a £10.9m loss for 2014.
In its annual results, published today, the wealth manager says it is to introduce a “fully functional” banking service, allowing clients to pay in cheques and use debit cards, and giving clients mobile and online banking access.
The service will be branded as the St James’s Place Money Management Account, and will be backed by Metro Bank.
The account will also provide an overdraft facility, secured against the value of clients’ investment portfolio. SJP plans to launch the service in April.
The move comes as SJP reveals its advice business made a £10.9m loss last year, compared to a £6.1m loss in 2013.
It attributes the loss partly to the £1.7m cost associated with acquiring the Henley Group, an advice firm with offices in Shanghai, Singapore and Hong Kong.
SJP says it also incurred higher adviser recruitment expenses last year.
The company saw its Financial Services Compensation Scheme levy rise from £5.5m in 2013 to £5.9m.
Overall, SJP saw a 20 per cent increase in net inflows from £4.2bn to £5.1bn, while funds under management rose from £44.3bn to £52bn.
The number of qualified advisers went up by 10 per cent to 2,835.
SJP made a pre-tax profit of £182.9m for 2014, down 4 per cent on the £190.7m profit in 2013. Last year results were boosted by a £8.9m reinsurance deal.
The company is paying a full-year divided of 23.3 pence per share, up 46 per cent from 2013.
SJP chief executive David Bellamy says: “This year we will seek to further strengthen our relationship with our clients by exploring opportunities to enhance our proposition, through the continual development of our approach to the management of their wealth and the addition of complementary services, so that we are able to offer a more complete proposition.
“We are delighted to be working with Metro Bank and look forward to being able to offer this additional facility for our clients.”
He adds: “There is a reassuring consistency about our business that is once again reflected in these results. We begin 2015 with confidence that we are well positioned for future growth, in line with our medium to long-term objectives.”