Best buy savings bank PCF suspends share trading as chief exec resigns

Best buy savings bank PCF suspends share trading as chief executive of 13 years resigns

  • PCF Bank opened its doors in 2017 and often offers best buy savings rates 
  • The AIM-listed lender suspended trading in its shares on Wednesday 
  • It said it was reviewing its ‘financial controls and reporting processes’
  • It told This is Money the bank continued to operate as normal 

A best buy table-topping savings bank suspended its shares as its chief executive of 13 years suddenly resigned ahead of a review of its ‘financial controls and reporting processes’.

PCF Bank, a £60.2million AIM-listed lender which obtained its banking licence in 2017, halted trading in its shares at 23p on Wednesday, ‘pending a further announcement’.

The bank does not appear to be in financial trouble and savers’ deposits are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. 

It added on Friday that chief executive Scott Maybury, who had been with the financial firm since it was founded in 1994, had resigned with immediate effect.

PCF Bank offered best buy 12, 18 and 24-month fixed-rate bonds at the time of publishing

The news came two days after it told the markets ‘trading in the group’s shares has been temporarily suspended while the group undertakes a further review in relation to its financial controls and reporting processes’.

The bank told This is Money in a statement: ‘PCF Bank will provide an update to the market in due course. There is no change to day-to-day business, and PCF Bank continues to operate as usual with clients, brokers and customers.’

It has frequently featured in and topped best buy tables since it opened its doors to everyday savers four year’s ago. Prior to today’s news it sat in second place in the one-year tables, paying 0.79 per cent on £1,000 or more.

It topped the 18-month tables with a rate of 0.8 per cent, and was again in second in the two-year tables with a rate of 0.85 per cent.

The bank primarily lends to borrowers looking to fund vehicle purchases, property developers in need of short-term bridging finance, and to businesses in need of asset finance.

Per its latest financial results, it held £339million in deposits at the end of last March, up from £267million in September 2019. It had 7,800 customers, suggesting the average deposit was £43,461.

Under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, up to £85,000 held with a bank or building society is safeguarded if the deposit taker fails, meaning if the worst were to happen savers on average would be safe.

However, per its latest financial update is does not appear to be in any trouble, with a Core Equity Tier 1 ratio of 17 per cent at the end of March 2020. This is a capital ratio which measures the ability of a bank to withstand losses.

A ratio above 12 per cent is seen as healthy for British banks. It also made a pre-tax profit of £2.6million in the six months to the end of last March, and an £8million profit in the 12 months to the end of September 2019.

In a trading update published towards the end of this March the bank said it ‘entered this crisis in a strong financial position’ and ‘continues to be cash generative and profitable.’

Savings accounts