Orchard Funding Group has submitted an application for a bank licence to the PRA and the FCA.
The finance company – which specialises in insurance premium finance and the professions funding market – has made the application to ensure it was no longer wholly reliant on third-party banks for its funding requirements.
Orchard also hopes the bank licence will reduce its cost of funds as well as enable it to increase its lending in its target markets.
As well as submitting the application, Orchard has also appointed Rajiv Agarwal as director of legal and compliance, along with Harsukh Soni, who will become chief financial officer upon the application being approved and subject to receiving regulatory approval.
Both are yet to join the company but are set to do so in the coming weeks.
Harsukh has over 28 years of experience in the financial services sector, including holding senior positions at Santander.
Meanwhile, Rajiv has over 40 years of experience in financial services and was previously head of compliance and MLRO at the State Bank of India in London.
Ravi Takhar, CEO at Orchard Funding Group, said he was pleased to announce the submission of its bank licence application and the appointments of Harsukh and Rajiv.
“With their combined banking, financial and regulatory expertise and our existing board members, we will have an enhanced team to manage our future business requirements.
“We look forward to providing a further update to the market during August."
Orchard Funding Group anticipates receiving the bank licence at the end of 2018, when there will then be a period of mobilisation.
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