IFAST, Eagles Peak to acquire UK-based digital lender BFC Bank

IFAST, a Singaporean wealth management fintech platform, has signed a deal alongside its partner, Eagles Peak, to acquire BFC Bank from Bahrain-based BFC Group for £25m.

BFC Bank is a fully licensed digital bank in the UK that caters to businesses. The bank is authorised by the UK’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

IFAST will acquire a stake of 85% in the digital bank. MMSS Investments, which is currently the sole shareholder of Eagles Peak, will hold the remaining 15% stake.

Eagles Peak was incorporated last November as a bidding company for the purpose of acquiring BFC Bank.

IFAST also announced an additional amount of £15m to fund a capital injection into BFC Bank.

The acquisition is in line with iFAST’s five-year plan. As part of the plan, the company believes that the future of wealth management will be such that several investors from various emerging markets will pursue the best wealth management platforms around the world, which can offer them seamless access and connectivity to global products as well as global exchanges.

IFAST Corp chairman and CEO Lim Chung Chun said: “Wealth management platforms with seamless links to good digital banking services that allow consumers and investors to manage payment flows seamlessly across borders while getting attractive deposit rates in various currencies, will have strong advantages.

“With that in mind, the Group believes that one of the central components of the iFAST Ecosystem going forward will be a digital bank located in a trusted jurisdiction.

IFAST stated that the proposed deal will enable it to add a digital bank to its fintech ecosystem. By adding the capabilities of BFC Bank into its existing digital wealth management platform, the Singaporean firm expects to gain synergies.

The acquisition followed by certain technology upgrades is expected to help iFAST’s clients in its current ecosystem in multiple Asian markets to access services such as online account opening, multi-currency deposits, cross-border transactions, remittances, and Banking as a Service (BaaS).

The deal is subject to approvals by the PRA and the FCA, either iFAST’s shareholders’ approval or a waiver of shareholders’ approval granted by Singapore Stock Exchange.