Financials were the worst-hit sector on the ASX this morning, but digital bank BNK Bank (ASX:BBC) was one exemption after hinting a potential M&A deal was forthcoming.

The company told shareholders it was undertaking a strategic review with the objective of “further maximising BNK shareholder value”.

BNK Bank said the review came after “several unsolicited approaches from interested parties”. Although it could provide no promise a deal would eventuate, it would look at all strategic options available to the company to unlock and enhance further value.

“As evidenced by our recent FY21 results, BNK is well positioned to continue delivering on its strong organic growth path and this review will consider all options to enhance that growth trajectory,” declared chairman Don Koch.

BNK shares rose 12% today making it one of today’s biggest winners. Its shares are up over 30% in the last 12 months but down just over 10% in the past 5 years.

BNK Banking (ASX:BBC) share price chart

BNK Bank’s history

BNK Bank has been in business since 1982, founded as a West Australian credit union known as Gold Fields Money but was demutualised and listed on the ASX in 2012.

It was only towards the end of the 2010s that it changed its name and closed its branches making it a digital bank.

Digital banks such as BNK have flourished as the sector has digitised, the government introduced open banking – which makes it easier for customers to switch – and also the credit boom fuelled by record low interest rates.

In FY21, the Bank recorded a $7.1 million net profit, up 44% from the year before and grew its loan book by 75% to nearly $500 million.