American banking giant JP Morgan Chase and UK banking giant Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) are reportedly looking to buy the British challenger Starling Bank.
JP Morgan is preparing to launch its consumer bank in the UK next year and thus it has talked about taking over Starling Bank, The Times reported.
If JPMorgan acquires the UK challenger, it will add 1.9 million people to its customer base.
On the other hand, Lloyds Bank is interested in Starling Bank’s technology.
This interest comes after Starling opened a data room as part of its £200m fundraising plan, and CEO Anne Boden’s ambition to go public, the report added.
A spokeswoman for Starling Bank said: “Anne has always said she will never sell to a big bank. An IPO is still in our sights.”
Founded in 2017 by Anne Boden, Starling has raised £363m ($484m) so far at a valuation of over £1bn.
Its main shareholders include the Bermuda-based Harry McPike and Merian Global Investors.
Last month, the digital challenger bank made £800,000 ($1.06m) in profits.
The potential acquisition of the Starling Bank could lead to the first big merger of a banking giant with a startup, in the UK.
Apart from Starling, TSB, a high street lender and a UK-based retail banking arm of Spain’s Banco Sabadell, was also put up for sale at the same time.
Goldman Sachs was appointed by Sabadell to find a buyer, The Times report added.
The move comes after Banco Sabadell and BBVA terminated their merger negotiations as they could not reach an agreement over price.
Initially, BBVA made an offer of nearly €2.5bn ($3bn), but Sabadell demanded more after its share value had increased recently.
The new BBVA-Sabadell entity could have nearly €600bn ($710bn) in assets and a market value of €26.7bn in Spain.
Internationally, the combined company could have €860bn in total assets.
A successful synergy could result in the combined group having a total of 4,225 offices in Spain and 45,866 employees.