Digital Bank Starling is looking to acquire more lending businesses to fuel growth before the companies stock market debut.
The bank’s founder and CEO, Anne Boden, told The Mail on Sunday that they’re “looking for a new lending business.”
She said: “We’re out there looking for one or more lending platforms. We have deposit balances which we need to make work for us.”
Starling is no newcomer to this kind of deal, having previously acquired buy-to-let mortgage lender Fleet Mortgages in a £50 million cash and share deal earlier this year. This acquisition was part of a wider plan at the bank to expand lending through a mix of strategic forward-flow arrangements, organic lending and targeted M&A activity.
Boden said: ‘We’ve acquired Fleet. That’s been very successful. We’re likely to do one or more similar acquisitions in the same sort of model. We expect there’s going to be a lot of activity in the first half of next year.’
The bank is targeting an initial public offering in late 2022 or 2023, with the aim of the flotation taking place in London.
Boden added: “Lots of financial technology businesses would find it difficult to float in London because they’re not profitable and they don’t have good governance.
“But Starling is a bank, so we have a huge amount of governance and we’re very profitable.”