Paragon Group of Companies, the parent of Paragon Mortgages, has confirmed it is in talks with National Counties Building Society over the purchase of private bank Hampshire Trust Plc.
The deal would give the buy-to-let lender a banking licence and allow it to offer its customers savings accounts.
A stock exchange announcement this morning, says: “The Paragon Group of Companies Plc notes the recent press speculation and confirms that it is in the early stages of considering the acquisition of Hampshire Trust Plc, a wholly owned subsidiary of National Counties Building Society.
“There is no certainty that a transaction will be concluded. Paragon will update the market when it is appropriate to do so.”
Hampshire Trust, which was established in 1977, offers bridging loans, development finance and various deposit accounts and savings bonds.
At the end of November, Paragon Group of Companies reported a £95.5m pre-tax profit for the year ending 30 September 2012, up from £80.8m a year earlier.