HAMPDEN & Co has declared its maiden dividend after client numbers rose to a record high during a year of profit, lending and deposit growth.

The Edinburgh-based private bank, which opened its doors in 2015 and caters for affluent customers, said its client roster increased by 19% to 5,598 in 2023, highlighting demand for its personalised banking and bespoke lending following introductions from existing clients, professional advisers, and mortgage brokers. It also saw customers join from other private and mainstream high-street banks.

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The influx of customers helped Hampden increase its total lending by 9% to £488 million, with the bank pointing to strong demand for residential, retirement-interest only, buy-to-let and self-build mortgages, and deposits increased by 8% to £858m. Term accounts saw net inflows of £142m as savers took advantage of higher interest rates, the bank said.

Hampden, which was launched by former Adam & Co banker Ray Entwistle in 2013, saw pre-tax profits soar to £9.1m from £2m in 2022, giving its board confidence to pay its first dividend to shareholders. However, it did not disclose the value of the pay-out.

The period also saw the bank, which has offices in Edinburgh and London, continue to add to its team. Employee headcount grew by 23% to 154, with key hires including the arrival of industry veteran Mark Plummer as head of private banking and Patrick Preece as banking director in London, and Claire Mann as head of client propositions. It boosted its mortgage intermediary team with the recruitment of Martin Hillyer as intermediary relationship director.

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Chief executive Graeme Hartop, a former managing director of Scottish Widows Bank who joined Hampden in 2013, said: “Our accessible and personalised approach to banking is valued by our existing clients and has attracted many new clients. It shows that many people, including high-net-worth and affluent customers of high street lenders, appreciate the benefits of relationship banking.”

He added: “In an environment where interest rate rises have encouraged people to use savings to pay down debt, the bank grew both deposits and lending in 2023.

“The high volume of referrals from other advisers, including wealth managers, solicitors, accountants and mortgage brokers was further positive endorsement of the bank, our staff and our ability to work in partnership with these other professionals.”