A specialist bank headed by the industry veteran who also chairs Metro Bank is to be put up for sale by its private equity backers.
Sky News has learnt that Alchemy Partners, the investment firm, is talking to bankers about launching an auction of Hampshire Trust Bank (HTB) in the coming months.
Alchemy took control of the lender in 2014, and has steadily grown the business through a focus on niches such as lending to fund classic car purchases.
A sale may draw interest from private equity firms with a pedigree in the financial services sector and other mid-sized banks.
The valuation that Alchemy would hope to attract in a sale was unclear on Friday.
HTB also provides specialist mortgages and development finance to clients.
The company is chaired by Robert Sharpe, a banking industry figure who has held roles at numerous lenders.
Its chief executive is Matthew Wyles, a former Nationwide executive.
In 2021, it bought Wesleyan Bank, part of the broader financial services mutual of the same name, for an undisclosed sum.
Alchemy declined to comment, although a person close to it said “no decisions have been made”.