Pepper Money is in talks with the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority as it looks to gain a banking licence.
The lender has made a number of senior hires to support the ‘project’: John Maltby as non-executive chairman, David Bowles as chief risk officer and Bob Golden as chief commercial officer.
Pepper UK, which uses Pepper Money as a trading name, will use a separate ‘entity’ from which to apply for a licence. The company refused to disclose any more details on how the bank and the UK lender will be structured.
Laurence Morey, chief executive of Pepper Money, said: “This move is designed to further strengthen our ability to support those customers who are under served by high street lenders.
“It will enable Pepper to expand the range of solutions we provide to our core customers – including people with complex incomes, the self-employed, those who fall outside high street credit scoring, first-time buyers and buy-to-let landlords – as well as securing more diverse funding sources for the business in the form of retail deposit funding.
“We will also be considering targeted acquisitions to further the range of solutions we can provide for our customers as part of our growth plans.”
Pepper entered the UK mortgage market in 2015.
Maltby already holds non-executive roles at Bank of Ireland and Simplyhealth, while he has worked at Williams & Glyn, Lloyds Banking Group, Kensington Group, NatWest, Barclays and PWC in his career.
Bowles has worked with Shawbrook Bank and Monzo, while before that he was at Allied Irish Bank, Cattles, Northern Rock and GE Capital.
Golden was at Close Brothers for 17 years, rising to chief executive of the retail division.
He will be responsible for driving the commercial development of the existing residential and buy-to-let lending businesses as well as developing new markets.
Colin Snowdon, managing director of Pepper Money, said: “Our success has been down to a great team and to strong support from distributors, brokers, funders and our shareholders.
“Their backing has enabled us to build the foundations on which to build a strong bank.”