UK online lender Amicus Financial has applied for a banking licence, joining the growing ranks of challenger institutions looking to take on Britain's established banks.
Amicus has hired the former CEO of Sansbury's Bank David Fisher, the ex-head of PwC's financial regulatory practice Alex Shaplan and the one-time head of Investec Paul Stevens, to spearhead its march into traditional financial services territory.
The company has submitted its application to the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulatory Authority with the expectation of gaining apporval sometime in 2017. It plans to convert £30m of the debt currently used to fund its lending activities into equity to form the capital base of the bank’s operations upon authorisation
Since its formation in 2009, Amicus has rapidly expanded its specialist lending activities and currently provides short term property loans, SME lending and working capital solutions through its three divisions, Amicus Property Finance, Amicus Commercial Finance and Norton Folgate.
The firm believes the conversion to banking status will enable it to fulfill its long term growth objectives by accessing an alternative and efficient source of funding.
John Jenkins, CEO of Amicus, says: “Applying for a banking licence is an important milestone for Amicus as we continue our growth journey. Becoming a bank will ensure we have the resources to grow, adapt and evolve our proposition in the market over the coming years."