Paragon confirms bank acquisition talks

SOLIHULL-based home credit and mortgages group Paragon has confirmed it is in talks to acquire Hampshire Trust plc, a wholly owned subsidiary of National Counties Building Society.

However, company secretary John Gemmell said there could be no certainty that a deal would be agreed.

“Paragon will update the market when it is appropriate to do so,” he said.

Speculation a deal could be imminent arose over the weekend after suggestions Paragon was pursuing a takeover because of interest over a banking licence.

Hampshire Trust is a private bank that funds solicitors and property developers.

Shares in Paragon have been strong for much of the ear, boosted by a series of debt acquisitions aimed at expanding group business.

The banking licence would enable paragon to offer customers savings accounts.