BFC Bank, a subsidiary of the Bahrain Financing Company money transfer group, has received a UK banking licence from the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The bank aims to provide low-cost basic corporate banking products with a focus on international transactions and multi-currency cash management, and UK domestic payments to SMEs.

The venture will also offer support to payment service providers (PSPs) who find it difficult to access bank accounts and domestic and international payments.

BFC Group managing director and CEO Ebrahim Nonoo said: “I am delighted to expand our presence in the UK and enter the banking arena at a time when there is a niche in the market to leverage our knowledge and expertise in international payments, and to provide a clear and transparent platform for the benefit of SMEs and PSPs.

“Our vision is to become a banking partner for companies that require access to international and domestic payment services.”

Recently, two other UK lenders namely Acorn Financial Partners and Amicus Finance applied to the UK regulators for a banking licence.