Saturday, 26 December 2015

BankMobile Hits 100,000 Customers Mark; To Have 2 Million by July 2016

BankMobile, America’s first mobile, tablet and online bank offering free checking and savings accounts, has reached 100,000 customers, in less than a year since inception and looks set to reach two million customers by July 2016. Its parent company, Customers Bank, is all geared up for the acquisition of the One Account Student Checking business and Refund Management Disbursement business of Higher One, Inc., which provides refund disbursements to nearly 900 higher education campuses across the country. 

Through these mergers, BankMobile hopes to reach out to more customers in the Gen X and millennial market. To add to the initial two million accounts by mid-2016, around 500,000 new student checking accounts each year. That will make BankMobile rank among the top 25 banks in the country with the highest number of consumer checking accounts. 

"This acquisition positions BankMobile to be the primary banking relationship for these millennial and Gen X students as they graduate, evolve into young professionals, and start their own families," said Jay Sidhu, Chief Executive Officer of BankMobile and Customers Bank, explaining the importance of reaching out to Gen X customers. "Our vision of providing financial freedom to millennials and the underbanked through BankMobile has very quickly become a reality. There is no bank in the country that has achieved the level of success that BankMobile has within its first year of launch."

"It is truly exciting that BankMobile can now provide affordable, effortless and financially empowering banking to a large number of students across the United States, who are burdened by student debt, high fees from banks, and lack access to financial education to help them make prudent financial decisions," said Luvleen Sidhu, Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer of BankMobile, stating how the bank is helping students face debt. "Our mission has and always will be to financially empower our customers and we look forward to not only providing traditional banking services but also the tools and personal guidance they need to build a financially stable life."

BankMobile offers higher savings rate than the nation’s top four banks, as well as access to more than 55,000 surcharge free ATMs in the USA. 

"By providing a superior product that is easier to use and is more affordable, we hope to create the 'Uber of Banking' at BankMobile," Jay Sidhu added.

 Customers Bank is a subsidiary of Customers Bancorp, Inc., a bank holding company in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania and has an illustrious board of directors which includes the founder, C&C Alpha Group, Bhanu Choudhrie

Thursday, 17 December 2015

LeaseTeam’s ASPIRE To Aid Customers Bank’s New Commercial Finance Business

Customers Bank, a state chartered, full-service US business bank, has come up with a segment to deal with end-to-end lease and loan management solutions called Customers Bank Commercial Finance (CBCF) and have chosen LeaseTeam’s ASPIRE to help them with it.

This new business division would be responsible for providing equipment finance and leasing products and services for customers from different asset classes. Service vendors, independent finance companies, dealers, bank-owned leasing companies and direct customers would also be eligible for these services.

ASPIRE, with an effective single system, will assist CBCF with their plans by making transactions easier; organising the adjudication process better through pipeline management and asset management.

Samuel H. Smith III, managing director of CBCF, explained about the value ASPIRE would add to their plans: “ASPIRE will provide everything in an end-to-end operating system solution that our commercial finance and leasing business was looking for. 

“LeaseTeam understands our unique challenges and is providing customized solutions that will enable us to process our transactions more efficiently while providing the flexibility for our future growth and expansion into new business channels and markets. We are very pleased with the progress we have made as a result of the expert guidance that Randy Haug and his team have provided.”

Randy Haug, co-founder and executive vice president at LeaseTeam said his team would work hard for Customers Bank and its clients’ success.

“We’re delighted to add Samuel H. Smith III and his trusted and experienced team to our growing family of bank equipment finance companies nationwide. The synergies between our group at LeaseTeam and Sam’s team were immediate. We are currently putting our combined years of experience, trust and integrity to work in the deployment of ASPIRE, which is being configured specifically for the success of Customers Bank Commercial Finance and its clients.”

Located in Portsmouth, Customers Bank Commercial Finance (CBCF) is a division of Customers Bancorp, Inc. It is known to provide a number of lease and financing products through vendor as well as direct and capital markets origination channels focused on markets such as industrial, packaging, franchise, plastics, construction, marine among others. Customers Bancorp Inc. engages in public banking services through its subsidiary Customers Bank, where the board of directors includes noted names like Bhanu Choudhrie and Jay S. Sidhu.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Atlantic Coast Financial Buoyed By Upward Mobility

On the back of its stock rating upgraded from a sell to a hold rating by The Street, the Atlantic Coast Financial Corp (NASDAQ:ACFC) has another ratings upgrade—this time from Zacks which has awarded it a buy rating.   The firm currently has $6.50 price objective on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Atlantic Coast Financial Corporation, formerly known as Atlantic Coast Federal Corporation, operates as a savings bank through its subsidiary Atlantic Coast Bank, a federally chartered and insured savings bank serving north-eastern Florida and south-eastern Georgia markets. The products offered by the bank includes checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, demand deposit accounts, time deposit accounts, certificates of deposit, family residential first and second mortgage loans, home-equity loans, commercial real estate loans, commercial and residential construction loans, land and multi-family real estate loans, commercial business loans, and automobile and other consumer loans. Atlantic Coast Financial Corporation is based in Waycross, Georgia.“

In another piece of related news, ACFC CEO John Kenneth Jr. Stephens through an acquisition back in August secured 10,000 shares of the stock at an average price of $6.20 per share, at accrued cost of $62,000.00. That positions the CEO as one of the topmost stock holders of the company with 30,690 shares valued at $190,278 in the ballpark.

ACFC has been a key interest area for brokerages as it continues with its positive showing on NASDAQ.  Other than The Street and Zacks, FBR & Co. raised their price target on ACFC shares from $5.50 to $6.50 back in July.

About Atlantic Coast Financial

Atlantic Coast Financial Corporation is an publicly traded bank holding company headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida (a Maryland corporation) and listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market (NASDAQ: ACFC), which wholly owns Atlantic Coast Bank. Atlantic Coast Bank's services are focused primarily on Personal Banking and Business Banking in the Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia regions.

In its May 2015 AGM, the Bank re-elected two directors for three-year terms: Bhanu Choudhrie, Executive Director of C&C Alpha Group Ltd, a London-based private equity group; and James D. Hogan, retired Chief Risk Officer of the Company and the Bank.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Ananda Spa Recommended the Best Wellness Destination Worldwide

Wanderlust is one thing, lusting for an escape from the daily hustle bustle is another. What better escape is there than to vanish into the tranquil Himalayas? The king of all mountain ranges in the world, it is formed by the perfect amalgamation of pristine beauty and unmatchable might.

Situated amidst the towering snowy peaks is destination spa, Ananda In The Himalayas, a place to amplify the serene lavishness of the mountain range. Based in Narendra Nagar, Uttarakhand, Ananda is spread across a 100-acre Himalayan mountain estate, overlooking the Ganges. Established in 2000, it combines international spa therapies with Yoga and Ayurvedic practices.

Such is its ascetic persona that Ananda was recently ranked number one among the top wellness destination of the world by Cheat Sheet in a list which includes Canyon Ranch, Red Mountain Resort and other famous spots from around the world. The list was compiled with destinations that help the guests find their inner self and motivate them to lead a better, healthier life. Ananda finishing first on the list is just an example of how utterly relaxing that place is. 

Ananda focuses on blending the centuries old Ayurvedic traditions with modern and international spa treatments. A few hours into their service and you will start to feel detoxification, de-stress and a deep relaxation. Through the specialised programmes at Ananda, you can lose weight, undergo anti-ageing, and emerge as a rejuvenated, revitalized self. For treatment through Ayurveda, the age-old philosophy of ‘doshas’ is followed by the in-house doctors at Ananda.

Ananda literally translates to joy and that is the motto of this luxury destination spa. In recent years it was recommended as one of the best spas in the world by The Telegraph and chosen as the no. 1 destination spa in the world by Travel + Leisure magazine. Ananda- In the Himalayas has been visited by so many celebrities, for example, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates and Melinda Gates, Kate Winslet, Deepak Chopra, Nicole Kidman, Ricky Martin, Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall etc. The experience at Ananda is inexplicable and can only be understood when you are deep in a state of trance, miles away from all the helter skelter.

Ananda Spa is managed by IHHR Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. with strategic guidance from C&C Alpha Group. The Group, where entrepreneur Bhanu Choudhrie is an Executive Director, runs a diverse investment portfolio in hospitality, realty, healthcare, aviation and utilities and has offices in the UK and India.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Nira Alpina: A Luxury Holiday, a Priceless Experience

St. Moritz a town of sheer beauty, made up of splendid hotels and vast pistes which run up to about 350 kilometers.

St. Moritz is unique because of the way nature meets man-made grandeur in the town. A paradise for skiing enthusiasts, it’s has now become a luxury holiday destination. Some extraordinary features of the town include horse riding on a frozen lake, world cup quality pistes, luxuriously calming spas and much more. 

Among the exotic hotels in the place, Nira Alpina definitely takes the cake especially after the bakery, conveniently called ‘The Bakery’, was included in The Telegraph’s list of top 40 mountain restaurants. Their exclusive preparations such as Swiss chocolate croissant, apple lattice pastry, Zopf etc., have left all the tasters drooling and asking for more.

This comes after a local resident, while speaking to the Style Altitude magazine, rated a fondue night at Nira Alpina’s Pichalian as one of the must-dos in St. Moritz.

Nira Alpina is a destination resort by Shanti Hospitality, a subsidiary of global private equity firm C&C Alpha (CCAG) and is the only ski-in ski-out hotel in the area. It is a dream come true for skiing enthusiasts as a private walkway leads to the Corvatsch cable car, a direct gateway to the highest drop point at 10,000 ft.

While a wonderland in winters, Nira Alpina is equally good in summers because of its strategic location which makes access to biking and hiking trails easier. So get ready, a complete luxury holiday experience awaits you at St. Moritz!

About Nira Hotels & Resorts
Nira Hotels and Resorts is a part of Shanti Hospitality, a subsidiary of the C&C Alpha Group where entrepreneur Bhanu Choudhrie is an Executive Director and promoter. Shanti Hospitality’s portfolio includes award-winning brands like Ananda in the Himalayas (managed by IHHR), Nira Hotels & Resorts and Nidra Hotels and its pipeline projects span worldwide across Asia, Europe and the Indian sub-continent.