Financial technology unicorn Lufax Holding has filed confidentially for an initial public offering in the US this year, according to people familiar with the matter. The Shanghai-headquartered firm is the world’s fourth most valuable unicorn, a privately owned company, according to the Hurun Research Institute . Founded in 2011, investors valued Lufax at US$39.4 billion during its last-known funding round at the end of 2018. Lufax, which runs an online wealth management platform and retail lending technology platform, has hired Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, HSBC and UBS to bring in investors, the people familiar said. A spokesman for Lufax declined to comment on any IPO plans. Spokespeople for the banks either declined to comment or did not respond immediately. Lufax could raise roughly US$3 billion, although the IPO is at a very early stage and the size could change, the people familiar noted. Chinese electric car maker Li Auto priced its IPO on Nasdaq above the marketed range last month, signalling strong demand from investors for the stock. The firm is following in the footsteps of cloud fintech platform OneConnect Financial Technology, which raised US$312 million in its New York Stock Exchange debut in December. Both Lufax and OneConnect are backed by Ping An Insurance (Group), China’s largest insurer. While Lufax and OneConnect previously contemplated listings in Hong Kong, their plans did not materialise. They instead plumped for the US, home to the world’s largest financial markets, despite rising tensions between Washington and Beijing. Lu International (Hong Kong), a unit of Lufax, launched operations in Hong Kong on Monday and will charge zero commission until the end of September. Lu is Lufax’s second overseas venture after it entered the Singapore market in 2017. Earlier this year, Lufax completed a US$1.29 billion syndicated loan to help finance its restructuring and expansion, just before the coronavirus outbreak severely disrupted business and fundraising globally. Lufax had 44.02 million registered users on its platform as of December 31, up 9.1 per cent from the beginning of the year. Customer assets under management dropped by 6.1 per cent from the start of 2019 to 346.9 billion yuan (US$49.9 billion). The balance of Lufax’s loans has grown steadily, while only 1.9 per cent of its outstanding loans are more than 30 days overdue, people familiar said. The group has also moved into non-performing loans, just as the asset class swells and prices slip as economies globally slow down or contract. Lufax scaled down its peer-to-peer lending business last year after Beijing tightened its scrutiny of the sector following a string of scandals. Lufax’s business is roughly breaking even , another person familiar with the firm said earlier.