The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)
Smelter saviour in deal to launch post-Brexit bank
Lochaber smelter saviour Sanjeev Gupta is to launch a new bank aimed at helping UK industry trade globally after Brexit.
Mr Gupta’s GFG Alliance has struck a deal to acquire the UK division of Nigeria’s Diamond Bank, which will be renamed British Commonwealth Trade Bank (BCTB).
The industrialist said his strategy was to “identify and capitalise” on investment opportunities and gaps in banking and financial markets.
He added: “Post-Brexit, there will be a heightened need to provide competitive financing to British companies in the commodities and industrial sectors as they seek to grow in new markets globally.
“BCTB will aim to be the bridge between borrowers and lenders for trade with these markets.”
Mr Gupta, who has overseen a series of acquisitions at GFG, added: “Britain is a nation of traders and, with our government’s new focus on international trade, we hope to play a key role in connecting UK businesses to customers and opportunities across the world, especially in the developing Commonwealth markets, where Britain has a long and rich history.”
The Diamond Bank deal is subject to approval from the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority.
GFG saved the UK’s last aluminium smelter, near Fort William, from threatened closure in 2016. The group is building a car wheel factory in a £120million expansion at the site.