Starling Bank has made its first acquisition, shelling out £50 million for the buy-to-let lending operation of Hampshire-based Fleet Mortgages.
Under the deal, Starling will become the sole funder of future originations for Fleet Mortgages, allowing the firm to build on its loan book by securing access to Starling’s £6.7 billion deposit base.
Bob Young, CEO of Fleet Mortgages says: “Starling Bank will take over all of our funding, allowing us to focus on achieving our significant and ambitious lending and growth targets. This is a natural progression for our lending business, with both Starling and Fleet sharing a very similar cultural fit and provides us with a very strong lending base from which to work from and to deliver for our staff, our adviser partners and our landlord customers.”
The acquisition comes just days after Starling reported 600% in revenue growth to nearly £97.6 million in the 16 months to March 2021, and unbroken monthly profit since October last year.
Anne Boden, CEO of Starling Bank, comments: “The acquisition of Fleet Mortgages is the start of our move into mortgages as an asset class and builds on a number of forward-flow arrangements that we’re doing with leading non-bank lenders."
Established seven years ago, Fleet manages £1.75bn of mortgages and anticipates originating another £800m this year.
Boden says the acquisition is 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.