Church House Trust
|Headquarters||Norwich, United Kingdom|
Church House Trust Limited is a private British bank founded in 1978 and based in Norwich, 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 of the business was not purchased by Virgin, and operates independently as Church House Investments in Sherborne.
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.
The current companies - Trust and Investments
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 comes 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. There are two companies using the Church House brand; Church House Trust and Church House Investments.
Acquisition by Virgin Money
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. The bank was due to be renamed under the Virgin brand. 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.
- "Origins". Church House. Retrieved 8 January 2010.
- Walsh, Dominic (8 January 2010). "Virgin Money buys minnow for retail bank launch". London: The Times. Retrieved 8 January 2010.
- Alistair Dawber (9 January 2010). "Virgin gets clearance for launch into banking". The Independent (London). Retrieved 2 February 2010.
- Companies House, Company No. 00980698
- "Virgin Money Annual Report 2013" (PDF). Virgin Money Group. 4 March 2014. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
- "Virgin Money Holdings (UK) Limited to sell Church House Trust Limited to SAV Credit". Virgin Money UK. 18 December 2012. Retrieved 18 December 2012.