The St. James’s Place Money Management Account is due to launch in April, CEO David Bellamy said in the firm’s annual results statement.
“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,” he said.
“We are going to start with the introduction of a new banking service in April, The St. James’s Place Money Management Account. Fully branded St. James’s Place, but powered by Metro Bank, the account will offer eligible clients a fully functional banking service.
He continued: “In addition, the account will have the added benefit of an integrated secured overdraft facility, providing immediate access to short term funds, secured against the value of their St. James’s Place investment portfolio. We are delighted to be working with Metro Bank and look forward to being able to offer this additional facility for our clients.”
The announcement comes alongside the firm’s financial results for the full year to end December 2014.
“Progression of profit”
On a European embedded value (EEV) basis operating profit rose to £596.4m, jumping 29% from £462.7m in the previous year, while EEV new business profit increased by 14% in the same time-frame to £373.1m.
However, on an IFRS basis, profit before shareholder tax fell 4% to £182.9m.
The group explained: “The progression of profit before shareholder tax in recent years has been impacted by the effect of the changes in the adviser charging rules in 2013. In addition the reinsurance transaction in 2013 resulted in a one off positive £8.9 million in that year, which reflects the net impact of a £21.4 million underlying benefit less a reduction in the value of the DAC asset associated with this business.”
EEV net asset value per share hit 657.9p, up 14%.
The group was also careful to highlight its cash result, which is dependant on the value of client funds under management. A combination of cash arising from in-force business, less the cash invested acquiring new business, the group’s underlying cash result grew 24% to £173.8m.
This helped the group report rises in both its final and full-year dividend by 50% to 14.37p per share and 46% to 23.3p per share respectively.
The value of the firm’s funds under management reached £52bn, up from £44.3bn, alongside a 20% FUM net inflow increase to £5.09bn.
St James’s Place also reported total new single investments of £7.8bn in 2014 compared to £6.6bn in the previous year.
“Long lasting relationships”
In addition, Bellamy outlined the firm’s intention to implement technology to improve its client services.
“At the heart of the sustained growth I mentioned earlier is the importance we place on maintaining long lasting relationships with our partners and clients and serving them well,” he said.
“We believe that this personalised and face-to-face approach has a very strong place in UK financial services both today and in the future. While technology is proving to be a game-changer and disruptive in a number of retail services, we will embrace the use of technology to enhance the personal service we provide to our clients, not to replace it.”