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Tony Banks

Balhousie Holdings

Tony Banks has become somewhat of a national celebrity following his appearance in October 2009 on Channel 4's "The Secret Millionaire" programme and his substantial efforts to raise awareness (and much needed funds) for Combat Stress (one of the causes he "discovered" during the filming of the programme)

However, Tony was certainly not born with a "silver spoon" in his mouth. His story is a classic tale of street wise savvy meeting entrepreneurial flair. He is one of life's true "self made men" and his story serves to inspire and motivate almost everyone that hears it.

From his first early steps in life Tony Banks travelled along a path destined to forge a strong and seemingly indefatigable character which has led to his success in business today.

Tony left school to start a BA in Accounting and at the same time he joined the Parachute Regiment Territorial Army to earn extra cash to supplement his student grant (he often says that he enjoyed the TA. more than the BA.) He left university to join the Army, much to his parent's horror!

An action packed army career (which included combat with 2 Para in the Falklands War) provided the first opportunity for Tony to jump into difficult situations. After his time in the army, Tony was to embark on a career and degree as a sports physiotherapist. However, with 10 months to kill before the course started, he found himself, having a spell as a very successful life insurance salesman.
A job that was to change his views on life, money and business. He then  ended up back in his beloved Scotland. It was here that he made the decision that would turn his life around and lead him to becoming one of Scotland's leading entrepreneurs.

Tony had by this time seen a combination of two things.

1. People were already starting to live longer - and that meant there was going to be a growing ageing population
2. The provision of care in the private sector was at best "mediocre" - and even then, massively under capacity

Tony bought his first care home in 1991. Over almost two decades he has skilfully expanded from that one original property with 31 beds, to now owning 27 care homes providing residential care to over 800 residents.

Tony launched the Balhousie Charitable Trust in 2008 to support worthwhile causes in the areas of Scotland where Balhousie Care Group has a presence. The Trust also supports good causes abroad. The major benefactor being the Children's Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS) and the sponsoring of three children through their education in Tanzania. More recently, Tony has extended the interests of the charity that bears his name to include support for Combat Stress and another o the organisations that he got to know while filming The Secret Millionaire - Daisy UK, a remarkable Liverpool based organisation headed up by the enigmatic Dave Kelly who famously describes himself as "a blind man with great vision".

Tony is an extremely creative thinker too. In 2007, Balhousie Care Group commissioned Dundee University to produce an Authorative report "The Third Age" on the care of and for the elderly and those with learning difficulties. Tony, Balhousie and Dundee University continue to have a strong and valuable relationship, which typifies Tony's view of working with the best brains you can find to help you identify "where we need to be in the future - and be there before anyone else". The University is active in a number of areas in conjunction with Tony and Balhousie, to help deliver the unparalleled standards Balhousie is committed to. This includes the sponsoring of a PhD student and a further commissioned report into the specialist care of the elderly and those with special needs.

Tony's zest for challenge is not restricted to his business life though. In what is currently an incredibly hands-on role at the helm of Balhousie Care Group, Tony has also managed to accommodate his passion for flying. He has a commercial helicopter pilot's licence, and fly's regularly between some of the more remote Balhousie properties.

He is also an avid and active sportsman, passionate about football. He also vividly recounts his past global mountain trekking exploits, sky diving and skiing and even scuba diving - in what Tony describes as some of the most beautiful seas on earth. It seems that wherever life presents a challenge, Tony Banks enthusiastically and successfully embraces it.

Tony really is one of that special breed of entrepreneurs that went firstly through the school of hard knocks and then went on to hone his business skills at The University of Life. His hallmark is his unquestionable, unerring ability to see what might be and should be (rather than focusing on what is).

Among a number of tributes to his success, Tony has been a finalist for Ernst Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the last two years , the National Business Awards Entrepreneur of the Year for the last two years.  Balhousie Care Group picked up awards in the Scottish national care awards in 2007 and 2008, came 37th in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 in 2008 - The top performing company in Scotland. This year the company is a finalist in the National Business Awards in two categories, Customer Focus and Business of the Year.

Although heavily committed to the continued growth and success of Balhousie Care Group, Tony is often asked to "take a look" at other businesses owned or managed by friends or colleagues.
A good dose of Tony Bank's straight talking and tenacious, commercial common sense can be just what is often needed to see the possibilities, develop a strategy and equip the management team to be able to deliver the success that Tony has already created in his own business life.

He is now on the executive boards of Entrepreneurial Exchange Scotland and Combat Stress UK and will soon be embarking on a BBC series dealing with how different countries around the world are dealing with (or not) the issue of caring for a growing, global aging population.


Registered in Scotland. Company registration number SC160976.
Registered office: Barncluith Business Centre, Townhead Street, Hamilton, ML3 7DP. Developed by Mercurytide