Starling Bank has agreed to buy a loan portfolio from specialist lender Masthaven worth about £500mn.
This follows Starling’s acquisition of Fleet Mortgages that took place a year ago, making Masthaven the challenger bank’s second lender acquisition.
At the time, the UK challenger bank said the acquisition was part of “a wider plan” to expand its lending “through a mix of strategic forward-flow arrangements, organic lending and targeted M&A activity”.
Starling’s chief executive, Anne Boden, called the acquisition the start of its move into mortgages as an asset class.
Brokers also weighed in on the bank’s first buy, dubbing it a “modern, forward-thinking challenger bank planting a flag in the intermediary lending world” the industry would be “foolish to ignore”.
Both companies are remaining silent on the deal but Starling has been vocal about its plans to buy up rivals in a bid to grow its balance sheet.
Having acquired its banking licence in 2016, Masthaven said in the announcement it has since struggled to continue securing the level of investment necessary to grow the bank.
Starling raised £130.5m from its existing investors such as Fidelity Management and Research Company, RPMI Railpen, Qatar Investment Authority and Goldman Sachs to build “war chest” for acquisitions in April despite now running at a profit.