UK digital bank Starling buys lender Fleet Mortgages

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LONDON, July 26 (Reuters) - British digital bank Starling said on Monday it has acquired specialist buy-to-let mortgage lender Fleet Mortgages in a 50 million pound ($68.93 million) cash and share deal.

Starling said the deal was part of a wider plan to expand lending, including through further mergers and acquisitions.

Fleet Mortgages - which has around 1.75 billion pounds of mortgages under management - will retain its brand and management team.

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"The acquisition of Fleet Mortgages is the start of our move into mortgages as an asset class," Starling CEO Anne Boden said.

The takeover comes days after Starling said it was on track for full-year profitability after narrowing its losses, and confirmed it could float on the stock market as soon as next year. read more

Launched in 2017, Starling is one of Britain's most prominent financial technology companies and has fared better than some of its peers by expanding its business lending through state-backed pandemic schemes.

($1 = 0.7254 pounds)

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Reporting by Iain Withers, Editing by Louise Heavens and Bernadette Baum

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