UK digital bank Starling buys lender Fleet Mortgages

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LONDON (Reuters) – UK digital bank Starling said Monday that it has acquired specialist mortgage lender Fleet Mortgages for £ 50 million ($ 68.93 million) in cash and stock.

Starling said the deal was part of a broader plan to expand lending, including through further mergers and acquisitions.

Fleet Mortgages, which manages approximately £ 1.75 billion in mortgages, will retain its brand and management team.

“The acquisition of Fleet Mortgages is the beginning of our transition to mortgages as an asset class,” said Anne Boden, CEO of Starling.

The takeover came just days after Starling said it plans to go full-year after cutting losses and confirmed that it could enter the stock market as early as next year.

Starling, founded in 2017, is one of the best-known UK financial technology companies and has done better than some of its competitors by expanding business lending through government-backed pandemic-backed schemes.

(1 dollar = 0.7254 pounds)

(Reporting by Ian Withers, editing by Louise Havens and Bernadette Baum)

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