Mortgage provider Paragon Group of Companies backed up press speculation on Monday morning by confirming that it is thinking about acquiring small private bank Hampshire Trust.
The Sunday Times reported yesterday that the buy-to-let lender was in discussions with Hampshire Trust over a deal that would grant it a banking licence for the first time, allowing it to start offering savings accounts its customers.
In a statement, the company said: "The Paragon Group of Companies PLC notes the recent press speculation and confirms that it is in the early stages of considering the acquisition of Hampshire Trust Plc, a wholly owned subsidiary of National Counties Building Society.
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"There is no certainty that a transaction will be concluded. Paragon will update the market when it is appropriate to do so."
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