(Bloomberg) -- Citizens Financial Group Inc. has held discussions with potential partners to grow its private credit business, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, the latest effort by a US bank to push into one of the hottest corners of Wall Street.

The Providence, Rhode Island-based lender, led by CEO Bruce Van Saun, hasn’t yet reached an agreement about a deal, said the person, who requested anonymity because the conversations are confidential. A representative for Citizens declined to comment.

The $1.6 trillion private credit market has become a key source of funding for leveraged buyouts in recent years, threatening the leveraged loan and high-yield bond business dominated by banks.

Citizens is following into the footsteps of bigger players such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. that have been looking to team up with third parties as they build out their private credit strategies.

Read more: JPMorgan Is Said to Seek Out Partner for Private Credit Push

With a market capitalization of $13.6 billion, Citizens already has a team that caters to private equity firms with debt financing needs ranging from $40 million to over $500 million, according to its website. 

In recent months, Barclays Plc, Societe Generale SA, Deutsche Bank AG and Wells Fargo & Co. have all made concerted efforts to grab a slice of the private credit market, with varying strategies that generally include third-party capital.

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