The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) has today approved the acquisition of FIBI Bank (UK) by Tungsten, which has commenced offering supply chain finance.

The Board of Tungsten made the announcement that the PRA approved the formal change of control of the UK arm of First International Bank of Israel (FIBI) on the London Stock Exchange this morning.

The fully UK authorised bank will be re-named Tungsten Bank.

A Tungsten spokesperson informs GTR that setting up a new bank from scratch would have been too time-consuming, which is why the company has chosen change of control instead.

The plan for the bank is to turn it into a fit-for-purpose automated lending facility for invoices on OB10’s network.

“Do you need a bank to lend money? No. But it gives us correspondent banking rights across Europe automatically with this particular licence. And the cost of money as a bank is, potentially, lower,” he says.

“In terms of running the bank, we’ve built systems that are automated, so we only need a very small team of people – 20 to 25, tops – that can process applications and do the enrolment of tens of thousands of suppliers,” he adds.

Tungsten is also in the process of developing a spend analytics proposition. The tool is designed to help buyers on the network capture savings and accelerate their invoicing programmes.

Moreover, Tungsten has today begun providing invoice discounting services to select US customers.

Edmund Truell, chairman of Tungsten Bank, says, “We look forward to an exciting future, as Tungsten Corporation builds up a disruptive force in supply chain finance on a global basis. The combination of enormous flows of invoices; simple and transparent finance offers; and high grade credit risks should enable us to advance billions of pounds, dollars, euros and francs to suppliers on the Tungsten Network.”