Specialist lender and asset finance provider Hampshire Trust Bank (HTB) has agreed to acquire Wesleyan Bank from Wesleyan Assurance Society, the financial services mutual, subject to regulatory approval.

The deal, for an undisclosed sum, is expected to be completed during the coming months.

The combined business will be led by Matthew Wyles as CEO with Tim Blackwell as CFO. As part of the acquisition, 115 Wesleyan Bank employees will transfer with the bank and will continue to work from Wesleyan’s existing offices.

Matthew Wyles, Hampshire Trust Bank’s chief executive said: “HTB’s growth strategy has always included an intention to supplement our development through acquisition when the right opportunity presented itself.

Hampshire Trust Bank

“We are very pleased to have agreed this deal with Wesleyan Assurance Society and we are excited about the added scale and momentum which this transaction will bring to HTB’s existing dynamic franchise. HTB delivered a very strong trading performance during the first half of 2021 and we look to the future with great confidence.”

Mario Mazzocchi, Wesleyan’s group chief executive, said: “Wesleyan Bank has been enjoying considerable success in recent years as it focuses on supporting its professional and SME customers with medium-term asset finance and longer-term secured loans.

“Following a strategic review, we found the growth opportunities ahead of the Bank were different to those of our core business, which will continue to focus on the specialist financial needs of doctors, dentists and teachers. Seeking new ownership for the Bank provides positive outcomes for both businesses, their customers as well as our members and makes strategic sense for all parties.”

In May, Wesleyan Bank reported that it had achieved record results in its loan book for broker written business in the first quarter of 2021, surpassing the whole first year of trading when the specialist commercial lender’s broker division was established in 2019.

For January, February and March 2021, Wesleyan Bank’s broker division supported SMEs with over £27m of asset lending across a broad range of sectors, the lender said in a statement.

Wesleyan’s brokers post over £27m in Q1 2021 SME funding