US financial entrepreneur Vernon Hill is planning to open Metro Bank early next year according to reports in the Financial Times.
Hill established Commerce Bank in New Jersey in the 1970s and plans to have two flagship branches of Metro Bank in London.
He is understood to be taking up the role of non-executive chairman at Metro Bank and is one of its largest shareholders.
Financial Services Forum chairman Anthony Thomson will be vice-chairman and is another principal shareholder.
The bank has so far raised £75m to fund the roll-out and it has around 20 private and institutional investors backing it.
The FSA could grant the licence within the next few weeks according to the FT.