March 9, 2019 / 2:01 PM / 3 months ago

Challenger banks Onesavings and Charter Court in merger talks - Sky

LONDON (Reuters) - British challenger bank OneSavings is in advanced talks to buy Charter Court Financial Services and create a lender worth more than 1.6 billion pounds, Sky News reported on Saturday.

OneSavings, founded in 2011 as part of a private equity buyout of the Kent building society KRBS, is one of the banks aiming to challenge Britain’s biggest lenders. Charter Court, a specialist mortgage bank, was launched in 2008.

Sky said under the plan OneSavings, which has a market value of 905 million pounds, would use its equity to make a bid for Charter Court, valued at the close of Friday at 733 million pounds.

Sky said OneSavings’ CEO Andy Golding would be expected to run the combined group. A spokesman for OneSavings declined to comment and Charter Court could not immediately be reached.

Britain’s banking sector is dominated by six huge lenders - RBS, Lloyds, Barclays, HSBC, Santander and building society Nationwide.

Below them challengers like Metro Bank and Virgin Money - acquired by Clydesdale Bank owner CYBG - and specialists such as OneSavings have been growing.

Reporting by Kate Holton; Editing by Janet Lawrence

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