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Expat Investor : May June 2008
expatinvestor.com 24 EXPAT INVESTOR ? May/June 2008 FIRST PERSON How one bank takes over another Derbyshire Offshore was a small operation that offered a targeted range of fixed and variable rate sterling deposit accounts for its retail and business customers. At the end of 2007, it had total deposits of over £320 million ( €460 million). The transaction was finally completed, in all legal respects, on 21st December 2007 following the necessary regulatory approvals in the Isle of Man and Iceland. Following the takeover, Derbyshire Offshore clients became clients of Kaupthing’s existing Isle of Man operation, Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander (Isle of Man) Limited. Many Expat Investor readers will be familiar with the Singer & Friedlander brand, which has offered offshore banking facilities from the Isle of Man since 1971, when Singer & Friedlander became the first City of London merchant bank to establish an office there. The offshore operation has grown steadily over the years to offer clients a full and highly flexible international banking service. This includes an award- winning range of private banking products tailored principally for overseas residents, expatriates and international clients. Rapid growth continued following Kaupthing’s acquisition of the Singer & Friedlander Group in 2005, bringing us to the present day and the acquisition of Derbyshire Offshore. Commenting on the acquisition, Aidan Doherty, Managing Director of Kaupthing in the Isle of Man says, “This acquisition is in line with Kaupthing’s strategy to increase the level of deposits within the bank. Derbyshire’s business was very efficiently run and has proved to be a great addition to our current operations in the Isle of Man.” When asked about the benefits to Derbyshire clients in moving to Kaupthing Mr Doherty replies, “Derbyshire Offshore provided a niche range of sterling denominated products to customers, mainly expatriates based internationally. With Kaupthing being able to provide a truly international product offering to customers, the Derbyshire clients now benefit by having access to a wider range of products and services such as multi- currency accounts with many at the top of the Moneyfacts best-buy tables, online banking and our international debit card. Importantly, we gave all customers an undertaking that the terms and conditions and the interest rates on existing products would not change as a result of the acquisition, a commitment we very firmly stand behind.” The range of deposit products available varies and includes award- winning instant access and tracker accounts, available in sterling, US dollars and euros. Kaupthing’s fixed deposits are available in all major currencies, with clients taking advantage of long-term offerings because of the very competitive rates available offshore these days. Kaupthing’s offshore online banking was launched with the intention that the service should be seen as an additional product or tool, one to complement their existing extensive banking service. Mr Doherty went on to say, “We fully respect that customers still require a personal service which they can rely on, not just for transactions but also for enquiries and information. The obvious advantage of online banking is the ability for clients to have instantaneous access to their account twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, combined with the knowledge that at Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander they continue to benefit from a very personalised service.” In these days of market uncertainty, security of assets is of prime concern to savers. Not only are all deposits held with Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander in the Isle of Man covered by the Depositors Compensation Scheme contained in the Isle of Man Banking Business (Compensation of Depositors) Regulations 1991, all deposits, including those of the ex- Derbyshire Offshore clients, are also fully guaranteed by Kaupthing Bank hf. With this guarantee, customers have peace of mind that their savings are fully secured. According to Mr Doherty, the final administrative issues relating to the takeover will be completed early this year. “I'm happy to say that the takeover process has proceeded very smoothly and we have been delighted with customers’ response to date. “ The final part of the takeover process will be the migration all customer data from the Derbyshire Offshore’s IT systems onto our own platform.” (This migration of data was completed by 31st March 2008.) Looking to the future, Kaupthing in the Isle of Man has its sights set firmly on growth. Mr Doherty concludes, “One of the Kaupthing philosophies is to build long-term relationships with our customers. Our growth plans are based on building these relationships, offering a superior personal service and, very importantly, providing a highly competitive range of deposit products.” To find out more from Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander (IOM) enquire through the fast facts number below. Late last year, Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander (IOM) acquired Derbyshire Offshore. Here, the Bank explains why and how the acquisition happened and what it all means to expat customers. Fast Facts 55470 “One of the Kaupthing philosophies is to build long-term relationships with our customers. Our growth plans are based on building these relationships, offering a superior personal service and, very importantly, providing a highly competitive range of deposit products. ” “The range of deposit products available varies and includes award- winning instant access and tracker accounts, available in sterling, US dollars and euros.”
July August 2008