One Savings Bank plans to double revenues

City A.M. Reporter
One Savings Bank, a new British lender backed by US private equity firm JC Flowers, aims to double its assets to £4.5bn and could make acquisitions to boost lending to small businesses.

The company was created in February 2011 after JC Flowers injected fresh capital into the mutually owned Kent Reliance Building Society, a casualty of the global credit crisis.

One Savings Bank has 150,000 savings customers and 14,000 mortgage customers - a tiny fraction of a British banking market dominated by the "Big Four" of Barclays, HSBC and part-nationalised groups Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds.

It is one of a handful of small banks, including Metro Bank, Aldermore and Shawbrook, that were set up after the 2008 crisis in which lender Northern Rock collapsed and RBS and Lloyds were bailed out with taxpayers' money, sparking public anger.

The new banks are targeting lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), an area where they feel they can take on the Big Four, which politicians have criticised for not lending enough to small businesses to help boost the flagging UK economy.

One Savings Bank Chief Executive Andy Golding, who arrived at the helm of the loss-making bank last year, said he hoped to increase its balance sheet to around £4.5bn from £2.3bn over the next three years.

He said this expansion would come from growth in its existing businesses and by acquisitions, which could entail buying mortgage assets or companies specialising in lending to SMEs.

"We're actively talking to businesses which might benefit from funding and therefore could provide a strong strategic fit."