Short term lending specialist Amicus Finance is in early stage negotiations with the regulator on seeking a UK banking licence, the Financial Times reported citing undisclosed sources.
Amicus Finance CEO John Jenkins is planning to launch a retail bank with a focus on property-based lending.
Jenkins told the publication that although the firm could raise institutional funds to lend, a bank licence provided access to retail deposits and a wider range of capital sources.
"It’s important for us to get into the spaces we want to be in and then grow to critical scale," Jenkins said. "There is a receptive market for new banks."
Jenkins reveled that he was also considering the rapidly growing peer-to-peer sector as a way to attract retail funding. "The question is, should I have a peer-to-peer site — do you need to be a bank to access the retail market?"
Amicus currently offers first and second charge lending on residential and commercial investment properties for purchase, refurbishment and development.