Challenged becomes the challenger: An established asset lender just got a banking licence from the FCA

Oliver Gill
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Private & Commercial will be able to take cash deposits for the first time in its history (Source: Getty)

Regulators today gave Aim-quoted lender Private & Commercial the green light to operate as a fully-fledged challenger.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) approved Private & Commercial's application for a banking licence, meaning it can open its doors to taking cash deposits.

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Established in 1993, the lender currently offers a range of consumer and business finance to acquire vehicles, plant and equipment.

As part of the granting of the licence, Private & Commercial has agreed to a "mobilisation period" where regulators will oversee the implementation of a number of governance and IT actions. During this period, the lender will be subject to providing restricted banking services.

Once authorities are satisfied such actions have been carried out, the restrictions will be lifted.

"These are designed to protect both the company and new customers, and have been agreed with the Prudential Regulation Authority and FCA to ensure smooth delivery of Private & Commercial deposit taking proposition," the company explained in a statement.

It is expected the bank will be in a position to take its first deposits during the summer of 2017.

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Chief exec Scott Maybury called the news "an exciting and transformational event". He added:

Unusually for a new bank entrant, we are not a start-up operation and we will be launching from the foundation of an established, focussed and strongly profitable operation.

This provides the ideal platform for further growth and our continued success. A diversified source of funding will not only allow us to scale up our loan book significantly, but also mitigates risk in times of economic uncertainty.

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