Lord Cruddas, the City tycoon, plans to take on Hargreaves Lansdown with the launch of a UK wealth platform following a profits boom at his financial services empire.
Sky News has learnt that CMC Markets will announce this week that it wants to launch a retail investment platform offering access to self-invested personal pensions, ISAs and third-party funds in its home market for the first time.
The plan, which will be announced alongside CMC’s full-year results on Thursday, will signal Lord Cruddas’s intention to eat into the market share of rivals such as Hargreaves Lansdown, AJ Bell and Interactive Investor.
Sources said the new platform – which could be branded CMC Wealth – could see its public launch as soon as the end of this year.
It will follow a successful retail stockbroking partnership in Australia between CMC and ANZ, one of the country’s largest banks.
CMC is expected to utilise the technology it has developed in its Australian partnership to underpin the UK launch.
Lord Cruddas, who was ennobled by Boris Johnson late last year, is said by colleagues to have been galvanised to accelerate CMC’s expansion as a result of its performance during the pandemic.
The company, which offers services including financial spread-betting, has upgraded profit forecasts several times during this financial year amid a surge in trading from locked-down customers.
Lord Cruddas, who set up CMC in 1989, has built the company into one of the biggest players in its sector.
He still owns a controlling stake in the business, which now has a market value of £1.42bn.
Analysts expect CMC to pay a sharply increased dividend on the back of its strong performance, meaning Lord Cruddas is likely to receive a payout worth tens of millions of pounds for the year.
Last week, it emerged that he had donated £500,000 to the Conservative Party just days after his peerage was confirmed by Boris Johnson.
The prime minister overruled the House of Lords Appointments Commission, which had signalled its opposition to the move.
Lord Cruddas served as Tory treasurer until 2012, when his term was brought to an abrupt end by a cash-for-access story in The Sunday Times.
The businessman successfully sued the newspaper for libel, although his financial award was later reduced on appeal.
A Court of Appeal judgement found that while aspects of his conduct had been “unacceptable and wrong”, it upheld the ruling of libel and malicious falsehood in his favour.
The tycoon was also exonerated by the Electoral Commission.
A CMC spokesman declined to comment on Wednesday.