Bank and Clients

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Bank and Clients plc
PredecessorChurch House Trust
HeadquartersLondon (Registered Office) and Yeovil, United Kingdom
Key people
Pedro Errazuriz
(Chief executive)
Lord Strathclyde
(Non-executive Chairman)
ParentOcean Industries S.A.

Bank and Clients plc is a British private bank founded in 1978 as Church House Trust, and based in Yeovil, United Kingdom.

In January 2010 the former Church House Trust plc was acquired by Virgin Money as a way for the Virgin Group to gain a banking licence to begin a retail banking operation. The investments division was not included in the acquisition, and continues to operate independently as Church House Investments in Sherborne.

Virgin Money sold Church House to Ocean Industries S.A. in 2014, and it was merged with Ocean Capital to become Bank and Clients. Former HSBC Mexico Chief Executive Officer Sandy Flockhart was named Chairman in December 2014,[1] and was replaced in early 2016 by the Conservative peer, Lord Strathclyde.[2]



The origins of Church House can be traced back to 1792 when Edward Batten formed Messrs. Batten & Co. Batten was the senior of three partners and was later joined by his son John Batten in 1829. After a number of mergers and acquisitions in the nineteenth and early twentieth century the bank grew, until a number of the members of the Batten family were casualties of the First World War, leading to the company being purchased by what became the Westminster Bank.[3]

In 1924 Lieutenant Colonel Bill Batten assumed control of the legal practice, and then in 1978 the bank was re-founded. The name of Church House came from the Queen Anne house just opposite St. John’s parish church in the centre of Yeovil that was first occupied by Nathaniel Batten in 1720. The bank moved from the building in 1999 to a former glove factory, having grown too large for the old premises.[3]

Acquisitions and rebrand[edit]

On 8 January 2010 Richard Branson's Virgin Money announced the acquisition of Church House Trust Plc for £12.3 million, giving Virgin a small foothold in the UK banking market.[4] The bank was due to be renamed under the Virgin brand.[5] Virgin Money did not purchase "Church House Investments", and that company continues to operate independently.

Following Virgin's purchase of Church House Trust the company was renamed Virgin Bank Ltd. In January 2012 Virgin Money bought Northern Rock, and renamed Virgin Bank Ltd again as Church House Trust Limited.[6]

On 18 December 2012 Virgin agreed to sell Church House Trust Limited to SAV Credit subject to FSA approval.[7][8] The sale was not completed.

On 30 November 2014 Church House Trust Limited was sold to Ocean Industries S.A. for £13 million.[9] The company was renamed Bank and Clients after the purchase by Ocean in December 2014.


  1. ^ Hosking, Patrick (2 December 2014). "Ex HSBC banker returns at B and C". The Times.
  2. ^ Mark Kleinman (26 July 2016). "Challenger Bank Names Tory Peer As Chairman". Sky News.
  3. ^ a b "Origins". Church House. Archived from the original on 20 August 2010. Retrieved 8 January 2010.
  4. ^ Walsh, Dominic (8 January 2010). "Virgin Money buys minnow for retail bank launch". London: The Times. Retrieved 8 January 2010.
  5. ^ Alistair Dawber (9 January 2010). "Virgin gets clearance for launch into banking". The Independent. London. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
  6. ^ Companies House, Company No. 00980698
  7. ^ "Virgin Money Annual Report 2013" (PDF). Virgin Money Group. 4 March 2014. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
  8. ^ "Virgin Money Holdings (UK) Limited to sell Church House Trust Limited to SAV Credit". Virgin Money UK. 18 December 2012. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
  9. ^ "Virgin Money sells Church House Trust Limited to Ocean Industries S.A." Virgin Money plc. 1 December 2014. Retrieved 1 December 2014.

External links[edit]