AMICUS Finance, the bridge lender that peer-to-peer investors can lend to via Crowdstacker, has applied for a banking licence.
The property lender said on Tuesday it has submitted its application to the Prudential Regulation and the Financial Conduct Authority and hopes to receive its licence next year.
The London-headquartered company has lent out more than £950m since it was founded in 2009.
Crowdstacker, which was one of the first P2P platforms to receive permission to offer the Innovative Finance ISA, has raised more than £9m for Amicus from its investors.
“This is great news – it highlights the strength of the business and its plans for growth,” Karteek Patel, co-founder at Crowdstacker, told Peer-to-Peer Finance News.
Ahead of authorisation, Amicus is planning to convert £30m of its junior debt into equity to use as capital for its banking operations. This will not affect Crowdstacker’s investment into the lender, Patel said, as its debt is more senior.
“This has no impact on the security of our loans,” said Patel.
Amicus is looking to raise £10m via Crowdstacker by 24 October. Patel said that he would be open to raising more money for them: “if they want to extend we’ll chat”.
The co-founder also said he would be open to raising money for more specialist lenders, a move he acknowledged was different to the usual P2P space.
“The other platforms operate more like lenders themselves,” he said. “Our model is that the experts are out there in the market with good security and we can use their expertise.”
Amicus also announced it has bolstered its board’s credentials ahead of securing its banking licence. It has hired David Fisher, Alex Shapland and Paul Stevens as non-executive directors. Fisher is the former boss of Sainsbury’s Bank, Shapland used to be a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers and Stevens is the former head of Investec Private Bank in the UK.