CHESTER based MBNA Europe Bank has acquired one of the UK's fastest growing financial services businesses, Loans.co.uk.
Founded in 1997 with six people, Loans.co.uk employs over 400 people across its two sites in Watford and Preston.
The Loans.co.uk management team and existing employees will join MBNA and continue to operate the business from the existing facilities. The business will continue to serve existing customers and partners whilst expanding its reach in the market.
Loans.co.uk provides secured loans for customers seeking either to consolidate their existing credit into a single loan, or requiring finance for a new purchase. These loans are sourced from third-party household name lenders, direct mail marketing, and the internet.
Commenting on the transaction, Shane Flynn, chief executive officer of MBNA Europe, said: "The acquisition of Loans.co.uk is a milestone in MBNA Europe's development. This acquisition is another step in diversifying our business in the UK. MBNA has been working with Loans.co.uk for some time and have always been impressed by their approach to their business and their customers. This is a winning company whose fit with MBNA Europe is tremendous.
"By deepening our relationship, not only are we bringing significant leverage to the Loans.co.uk business, enabling it to continue its tremendous growth, but we are also able to offer our customers a broader range of products.
"The Loans.co.uk business model has clearly been a significant factor in their rapid growth and success and we intend to continue with this formula. Loans.co.uk has developed many very successful partnerships with some of the UK's leading loan providers and this strategy complements MBNA's successful affinity approach."
Loans.co.uk chairman David Cowham added: "When my business partner Stephen Hayes and I were looking at how Loans.co.uk could still be the pre-eminent force in its industry in ten years time, we concluded that we needed the support of a larger parent organisation.
"In our business models and our approach to customers, it's hard to imagine two more complementary businesses than Loans.co.uk and MBNA."