U.K.-based Wyelands Bank PLC has invested more than £60 million in a property whose main tenant is the challenger bank's parent group GFG Alliance Ltd., the Financial Times reported.
According to the newspaper's investigations, Wyelands Bank has extensive links with industrial group GFG, which calls into question how the bank is using savers' deposits. It is unusual for banks in Britain to lend to firms within a wider group.
GFG is the family business of businessman Sanjeev Gupta.
Banks in the U.K. can legally lend up to 25% of their core capital to related companies or individuals as long as the terms for the loans are not more favorable than those for non-affiliates. The U.K. Prudential Regulation Authority, however, allows a higher limit provided that certain conditions are fulfilled.
The bank, which paid £64 million for the property in London's Mayfair, acquired Mallnick Holding, a company that owns the property, a Companies House filing reportedly shows.
A bank spokesman told the FT that the transaction was referred to the U.K. banking regulator, and the regulator has not raised an objection.
The investment is equivalent to almost half of Wyelands Bank's £133 million capital base, the Aug. 10 report noted.