BANKS FOR SALE
Financial Licensing Advisors (FLA) is the undisputed leader in banking licensing services. We maintain a comprehensive list of banks currently for sale, as well as other licensed entities.
If you want to buy a bank, you’re in the right place.
We specialize in fostering relationships with the international banking industry and can provide you with carefully vetted banks available for sale.
“Financial Licensing Advisors is the international leader in buying and selling banks internationally.”
Following is our updated and comprehensive list of banks and other licensed financial institutions for sale. Financial Licensing Advisors does not sell bank-type vehicles but fully licensed and supervised banks.
The banks we sell typically undergo a general due diligence check. All institutions listed are subject to change at any time, including any shares available to the public. Banks available on this list have preexisting agreements between themselves and Financial Licensing Advisors. We typically try to perform due diligence on both the entities and their owners to ensure the accuracy and truthfulness of the information that these banks provide.
Download the current list of banks for Sale
Please note that the information provided on the list of banks available for sale is not an offer to sell or purchase, nor is it a solicitation of an offer to sell or purchase an interest in any entity represented.
By downloading the list of banks available for sale, you acknowledge that the content is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer to sell or buy any securities. Nor is it a promise to undertake or solicit business, and it may not be relied upon in connection with any offer or sale of securities. For a complete disclaimer, please see the last page of the document.
If you are reading this, you are looking for banks currently available for sale on the international market. This article will help you understand the risks involved in bidding for banks. It will also provide information about the caveats to consider before moving forward with a bank purchase.
The reasons for buying a bank will vary greatly from entity to entity. Most of our clients have either outgrown their current licensing boundaries or could benefit from a more comprehensive financial license, such as a banking license.
Financial sector companies in different situations will at some point in their lifecycles find it necessary or desirable to grow beyond their current licensing limitations. These companies, including FX brokers, licensed wealth managers, investment family offices, introducing brokers, M&A specialists, licensed financial advisors, MSBs, payment processors, and fund managers, will at some stage want to move forward by buying a bank.
A problem often arises when they must obtain a license quickly but lack the understanding and personnel to either upgrade a license or find the right bank on the market. This is a niche market, so finding correct matches is difficult.
Finding the bank that meets your needs and fits within your budget is a very specialized task and will require advanced market research.
We offer you a list of all banks available for sale internationally based on our previous research and on preexisting agreements between those banks and us. We typically try to perform due diligence on both the entities and their owners to ensure the accuracy and truthfulness of the information that these banks provide.
When our clients shop around, they often tell us that they have found a similar opportunity (i.e. a bank being sold with similar specs/license type) at a lower price. Unfortunately, offers that look too good to be true are often just that. Banks that cannot get listed with us will usually be listed directly or through an independent agent.
The problem with the international licensing banking sector, and especially with the offshore banking industry, is that the countries involved in licensing are often so small that frequent conflicts of interest arise among the local players who are supposed to be helping buyers.
We’ve seen very creative offers or explanations as to why a license has been revoked or why the bank is not in good standing with financial authorities but is still being placed on the market. The fact that a bank is being sold for a lower price should be an immediate red flag.
Because financial regulators are interested in having a sound and well-established banking sector, they will not allow, within their banking system, a bank that is running behind in terms of capitalization, regulatory requirements and so forth. Often, a bank must be analyzed to confirm, with the relevant authorities, that any information presented about that specific bank is true, that it will remain in business, and that it expects to maintain its license when the prospective new owners buy it.
If none of the banks in our inventory meet your criteria or if you have found a specific opportunity that you want us to look at, we can act as either the seller’s agent or the buyer’s representative based on the specific requirements.
We usually review both parts of the equation to facilitate a purchase. In cases in which the bank in which the buyer is interested is not within our inventory, we will represent the buyer and find the right bank based on the client’s needs, and vice versa.
We often find a variety of banks that, after initial inspection, do not fit the above criteria or that pose a risk to a potential buyer. Although we typically do not list those banks, we are aware of opportunities that our competitors list and that, in specific cases, a buyer might want to explore.
In such cases, we can provide complete consultation services for clients, with the goal being to finalize a deal with minimum exposure to the parties and to correct any situations related to the bank and its license. This way, the bank will return to a status that benefits both the buyer and the seller.
We are well-recognized in the industry for providing services to financially distressed banks. You can rely on Financial Licensing Advisors for any related task.
We suggest that you read the “Buy a Bank” guide at http://www.bankinglicensing.com/buy-a-bank for a complete understanding of the process. Buying a bank creates endless possibilities because the prospective buyer is able to become a market maker. However, when you are first considering purchasing a bank, you might not know where to start. Our team at Financial Licensing Advisors will help you assess your needs and will tailor a solution specific to you and your financial company.
To buy a bank you will need:
1. An extensive background in the banking sector.
2. Capital and a willingness to use it for both the setup and the capital requirements.
3. A good management staff composed of specialists within the banking sector.
4. A sound business plan that takes into consideration current and future risks.
5. Actual capitalization.
If you do not have one or more of the above, we can help (except for capitalization, as you do must be liquid).
Although purchasing a bank is one of the most complex and comprehensive processes that a financial institution, company, or individual will undertake, we at FLA have developed a certification and execution process that makes the task much easier for the purchasing party.
We understand the challenges involved in a takeover or purchase operation and will provide you with a hassle-free, turnkey procedure tailored to your specific needs.
Purchasing a bank offers various advantages over starting a new bank.
As stated earlier, the financial regulator will not want to add more banks to the banking system. Regulators are often worried about new banks becoming a potential problem, as each new bank application could end up being a failure.
However, when you purchase a bank, you are potentially lowering the risk of default for that particular entity. This represents one fewer problem to deal with in that specific banking sector. Thus, authorities prefer that companies buy banks instead of licensing them.
With adequate capitalization and an efficient management team, you can bring a once-troubled bank back to life. The regulator will likely welcome your capital and new ideas.
Furthermore, buying a bank typically has several benefits, such as software and other unexpected add-ons that will cost you money if you decide to license yours from the ground up. Buying may be more expensive but it’s a much better alternative.
Time is the most important consideration and, in our opinion, is the most valuable asset in this type of industry. If you purchase a bank, you are buying shares of a company that holds a banking license. This dramatically cuts the time required to complete related processes from a couple of years to a couple of days.
For instance, hiring or setting up an office is a consideration when licensing a new bank. It’s a process that requires a lot of time, as very often a specialist from Financial Licensing Advisors will need to travel to that jurisdiction solely for that purpose. Those expenses will quickly add up and impact the general licensing budget.
Instead of selecting employees and shopping for office space (and furniture, etc), the office necessary to start business is already there with its own employees, whom the regulator has already approved. This is a very desirable situation, as it allows you to spend time evaluating the existing operations and identifying where changes, if any, should be made according to your specific business plan and your perspective within the market.
The budget required to buy a bank varies broadly depending on the jurisdiction, financial position, and client base (if any) of the prospective banks to be bought. The information below is based on an estimation from data compounded over the last two years.
According to our current estimation, the following are regular closing price ranges that have been observed based on the bank’s general location (not asking prices). Please note that we have removed transactions involving banks that were not in good standing at the time of purchase.
Typical Transaction Size (Closing Prices)
1. The US 9.5M-80M (including other territories)
2. The Caribbean 3.5M -30M
3. Europe Outside EU 8M-18M
4. Europe Inside EU 11M-55M
* Values in Millions of Euros
As you can see, prices vary widely depending on the jurisdiction and financial position. Before we can help you locate the appropriate bank to be purchased, you must define how large the ideal target bank is and under what regulatory framework you will operate—or better, where does the specific bank you want to purchase fall within the expected longer timeframe business plan?
We can act as an independent advisor for the initial stage. Here, we would like to obtain an exhaustive understanding of the challenges involved in the purchase so that we can provide you with a bank tailored to your specific needs.
When buying banks, we can also help you with:
Because Financial Licensing Advisors is one of the most-recognized banking consultants in the world, we can provide you with an array of solutions designed specifically for your situation. Also, we can oversee almost all aspects related to the purchase of a bank.
We will be able to perform an in-depth analysis of the options provided for purchase. We will hire an independent auditor to review financials. In addition, we will reach out to relevant authorities to verify the bank’s current compliance and to determine, if the bank is not in good standing, whether any provisions must be made to bring it back into compliance.
We will also assist you with the operation of the bank in all areas so that you have a supporting partner during the early stages of operation. We will show you how to appropriately file reports to financial authorities and demonstrate how operations should be conducted in each area within the bank.
We will also provide you with IT and operational support for critical areas of your newly acquired bank.
We can also help advisors who would like assistance with a purchase transaction.
If you’ve found a perfect match after extensive market analysis, it all comes down to compliance.
Mainly, you want to look at the business case, the regulatory environment, and the operational hurdles that the bank is experiencing. If you have not hired a specialist, you should. You also need to understand why the parties want to sell and under which circumstances they will be willing to give you control (if it’s a larger bank).
Before jumping in, you must perform a self-evaluation of what you are really looking for. For instance, when looking at the business case, you should first examine what you are really looking for, what story the numbers are telling you, and how those numbers will help you (or not).
You must ask yourself why and how your organization will benefit from that specific opportunity or where that specific opportunity falls in your master business plan. For instance, do you want a bank with a clean balance sheet, such as a turnkey bank? Or a bank with a sizeable portfolio of clients that you can grow? Or perhaps you want a distressed bank with toxic securities?
Understanding what you want will help you gauge the price opportunity. Often, banks with a clean balance sheet (no liabilities) make the most sense, as you are buying a blank canvas. However, clients often want action. They want a distressed bank to make revenue or they want to buy growth by purchasing a bank with a current client base.
The way in which the bank’s assets and liabilities are distributed is a key evaluation point. Understanding this will help us negotiate better conditions for you. For instance, if the bank has bad loans or other toxic liabilities, we can use this to reduce the price during the negotiation process. However, you must be careful because any liabilities can negatively impact the bank after the purchase is finalized. These liabilities must be carefully evaluated by us or whomever you hire to do so.
Buying distressed opportunities is a very profitable practice but you must be realistic about the potential outcome of any liabilities onboard a bank (especially those that are toxic) and how they interact with the balance sheet. You must clearly understand this before you acquire the bank. Once the deal is closed, all liabilities will be the new owner’s responsibility, so plan accordingly.
Often, buying a clean-balance-sheet bank is better, as these are banks that grew with their own capital instead of with their clients’. Therefore, they don’t owe anything to anyone. These banks are difficult to find but they’re out there. We will probably be able to help you find them.
Understanding the legal framework is key. When you understand the rules of the game, you will know how the game is played.
We often ask clients in high-level positions to take a weekend off (at a beach, preferably) and read the regulatory framework that will govern the structure. This often-forgotten step is important because the management team will quickly be able to determine the limitations of issuing a security or structuring an area in some way.
Make sure to review the legal framework during the takeover so that you can assess your options in regards to the structuring of the bank.
Depending on your licensing and compliance requirements, your bank will need a certain degree of IT under the hood to run according to applicable regulations. Here, again, we have you covered. FLA offers a comprehensive set of IT services for banks, including:
BUYING A BANK DASHBOARD
The information contained in this web site has been prepared solely for informational purposes and is not an offer to sell or purchase or a solicitation of an offer to sell or purchase an interest in any entity represented or managed by Financial Licensing Advisors ™
Financial Licensing Advisors ™ reserves the right to change, modify, add or remove portions of any content in this presentation at any time without notice and without liability. Those who are requesting services to Financial Licensing Advisors ™ do so at their own initiative and are responsible for compliance with any laws or regulations applicable to them.
You acknowledge that the content of this presentation is for general, informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute an offer to sell or buy any securities or promise to undertake or solicit business, may not be relied upon in connection with any offer or sale of securities. An offer or solicitation will be made only through a final private placement memorandum, subscription agreement and other related web sites with respect to a particular investment opportunity and will be subject to the terms and conditions contained in such web sites, including the qualifications necessary to become an investor.
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