WILMINGTON, Del. -- Beneficial Bank PLC, a British bank owned by the U.S. finance group Beneficial Corp., has reached an agreement to acquire Sterling Bank and Trust Ltd.

Sterling, a provider of second-mortgage loans in the United Kingdom, has a portfolio of 13,000 accounts with the equivalent of $188 million outstanding. The deal would increase Beneficial Bank's receivables -- $500 million in 180,000 accounts -- by 38%.

Finn M. W. Caspersen, chairman of the Delaware-based, $10 billion-asset Beneficial, said the acquisition agreement is "of significant importance" and will add "high quality" receivables.

The transaction is subject to approval of regulators and shareholders of Sterling Trust PLC, the bank's holding company. Shareholders are to meet Sept. 18.

Beneficial Bank plans to employ the 65 people who work in Sterling's 8,500-square-foot office in Reading, 40 miles west of London.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.