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Steel entrepreneur Sanjeev Gupta to launch 'post-Brexit' bank for industry

Steel entrepreneur Sanjeev Gupta plans to launch a “post-Brexit bank” that will help the industrial sector expand into developing economies as Britain leaves the EU.
Mr Gupta’s GFG Alliance group has agreed to buy the UK arm of Nigeria’s Diamond Bank, which will be renamed British Commonwealth Trade Bank (BCTB).
The new business - which will apply for a UK deposit-taking licence - will focus on providing finance to industrial supply chain businesses as they take up the Government’s challenge to build trade with new markets following Brexit.
The acquisition, which is subject to approval by the Financial Conduct Authority, is thought to be worth about ?30m. This is roughly the same size as Tungsten Bank, which GFG bought in 2016, with a similar intention to provide industry financing in developed markets. Tungsten has since been renamed Wyelands Bank.
Steel entrepreneur Sanjeev Gupta to launch 'post-Brexit' bank for industry

The sale is subject to approval by the FCA watchdog

Credit:
Alamy
Mr Gupta said: “Wyelands saw a gap in effective financial servicing for mid-sized UK industrial companies targeting developed countries worldwide. BCTB, with its global networks and expertise in developing economies, will enable us to focus on a very different market gap, providing financial solutions that enable UK businesses to access specific fast-growing markets, especially within the Commonwealth.”
The entrepreneur said GFG had a “long history in trade with the Commonwealth” and the new bank would leverage this, describing Britain as “a nation of traders”.
“Post-Brexit, there will be a heightened need for competitive financing for British companies in the commodities and industrial sectors as they seek to grow in new markets globally,” Mr Gupta said. “BCTB will aim to be the ‘bridge’ between borrowers and lenders for trade with these markets.”
GFG has grown into one of the UK’s largest privately owned industrial businesses after launching a ?1bn-plus spending spree that started as the steel crisis hit the UK in 2015.
Mr Gupta has a strategy of buying distressed businesses at knock-down prices. In recent years he has taken on assets including steelworks and mines as far afield as the US and Australia, with staff numbers ballooning to more than 10,000.
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