- Specialist lender Orchard Funding said it had boosted its annual lending volumes and revenue, and had also decided to apply for its own banking licence.

In a trading update, the company said its lending volumes for the year through July had risen 6.4% to £73.1m.

The loan book had grown 4.5% to to £32.3m.

Orchard had recently decided to withdraw an application for its own banking licence.

However, it said on Wednesday that after deliberations, it had concluded that the acquisition of its own licence was its preferred course of action.

'Accordingly, the process of obtaining its own licence has therefore been restarted and is progressing into the current financial year,' the company said.

'As a result, banking licence application costs for the year ended 31 July 2019 are expected to be lower than previously anticipated.'

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