Synchrony Financial, the credit card lender recently spun off from General Electric, is considering an expansion into small-business lending.

The Stamford, Conn., company already offers small-business credit cards through merchants such as Lowe's and Sam's Club. But now Synchrony is exploring the idea of providing credit directly to small businesses, without the involvement of retailers, according to Chief Financial Officer Brian Doubles.

"There's an opportunity, and we're evaluating this," he said Tuesday at an industry conference in London hosted by Barclays. "So we've hired some experts in that field. We're evaluating the space."

Doubles also stated that small-business deposit accounts are part of Synchrony's strategy for building its online bank.

Synchrony Bank had $62.9 billion in assets as of Dec. 31, up from $49.7 billion a year earlier. It is courting depositors in an effort to fund more of its lending business with low-cost deposits.

Synchrony, which was formerly part of GE Capital, issues store-branded credit cards for major retailers such as Amazon, Walmart and The Gap.

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