Liberty House founder Sanjeev Gupta completes purchase of Tungsten Bank to create new "industry friendly" Wyelands Bank

Francesca Washtell
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Sanjeev Gupta has emerged as one of the UK's leading industrial investors (Source: Getty)

The British industrialist at the helm of commodities group Liberty House has bought Tungsten's banking arm to create an "industry friendly" bank for smaller UK engineering and manufacturing companies.

Sanjeev Gupta, who founded the metals company when he was a student at Cambridge, has bought Tungsten Bank through his private estate Wyelands Holdings.

The deposit-taking bank will be renamed Wyelands Bank and will initially specialise in supply-chain and trade financing for the industrial sector in both the UK and internationally. The transaction between supply chain group Tungsten, which was founded by City financier Edmund Truell, and Wyelands will complete in December.

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Gupta said the investment in the bank is "part of his wider vision to promote the revival and growth of industrial businesses in the UK".

There is a clear gap in the market to form and develop a bank in the UK serving these sectors of the economy as well as the deposit market.

The constraints with respect to bank financing for smaller industrial players has not eased since the 2008 downturn and has been a key missing component inhibiting business expansion.

There remains great potential for domestic and export-led growth but businesses need better working capital funding solutions to do so. Wyelands Bank will aim to be an empathetic champion for British industry, offering innovative solutions and benefitting from a greater understanding of industry’s financial needs.

Read more: Liberty House still interested in Tata's UK business despite Brexit

Iain Hunter, who is currently chief executive of Tungsten Bank, will serve as chief executive of Wyelands Bank. John Howland Jackson, chairman of Nikko Asset Management Europe, will be appoint chairman.

Gupta, who is executive chairman of Liberty House, has championed the British steel industry, which fell into crisis this year.

The most vocal bidder in Tata Steel's Port Talbot bid process, before it was called off, Liberty Steel has launched a "greensteel" strategy championing UK manufacturing, restarted a rolling mill in Kent last month and last year restarted a mill in Newport, South Wales.