An interview with Jeremy Marshall, one of the investors in Kingdom Bank
Jeremy, please tell us about yourself and your fellow investors?
The largest new investor (35%) is Stewardship, a significant Christian evangelical charity which encourages Christians to be generous and helps churches and Christian charities with their finances. The other 65% is owned by a small group of Christian philanthropists, including me. I have 35 years of banking experience, including being CEO of the U.K.’s oldest family-owned private bank, C Hoare and Co. Most of the other philanthropists have similar finance backgrounds; all are committed evangelical Christians and we will be using our expertise to help the Bank develop.
What products does Kingdom Bank offer?
Kingdom Bank is best described as a Christian bank. It takes deposits, on which it pays interest, and makes loans to churches, charities and Christian workers secured on property. It seeks to offer attractive rates of return and suitable products. Currently our staff are all Christians, very knowledgeable with years of specialised experience helping churches. Often they pray with their customers. We also have a specialist team offering a broking service to seek out competitively-priced insurance for churches and other Christian organisations. All deposits up to £85,000 are protected through the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
Why have you bought the Bank and what are your plans for it?
Firstly, this is a completely unique bank, that unashamedly seeks“the glorification of the Lord Jesus Christ”. Over sixty years old, it has an experienced and dedicated staff who believe strongly in this goal. It would have been very sad had it been bought by a secular owner and all this lost.
Secondly, we see a huge need for a Christian bank. We want to see Kingdom Bank doing more of what it already does – lending to churches, church plants, Christian charities and the pastors and workers who support them. We are investing new capital in the bank to enable it to grow this great work.
Our main aim is to ensure the Bank is well capitalised, conservative in its activities and can grow further. This means avoiding any speculative business and sticking to its current low risk, highly liquid strategy.
Do churches and individual Christians have any specific banking needs that differ from the rest of the population?
We believe that many Christians (and others) are looking for something different: a bank that is not all about profits but doing what’s right, therefore ethical in nature. We will retain and strengthen the Bank’s Christian character. Depositors get something unique: their money finances building new churches and expanding existing ones, activities beyond the scope of existing banks.
Where do you see Kingdom Bank in five years time?
We will invest in the Bank so it retains its wonderful and unique Christian character and staff, having already committed funds to improve its online service, for example, and several other projects are in the pipeline. This will enable it to expand further and better serve local churches throughout Britain and will in turn help spread the gospel of the Lord Jesus across our needy nation.