The private equity firm JC Flowers is injecting £50m into Kent Reliance in a groundbreaking deal that will see the building society convert into an industrial and provident society – Kent Reliance Provident Society – and set up a subsidiary bank.
The group's switch in status will allow it to remain as a mutual while also being able to raise tier one capital as a bank. The move also offers JC Flowers, which will get a 40 per cent stake in the bank for its investment, its chance to enter the UK financial services sector.
Kent – sponsor of Charlton Athletic Football Club – hopes the deal will take place next year, if its 168,000 members back it at a special meeting in October. Kent and JC Flowers have been in talks for around 10 months.