Supermarket giant Tesco plans to open 30 bank branches in its stores by the end of this year as part of its continued push into financial services.
The first branches, which are likely to be called Tesco Bank, will open in Blackpool, Coventry and Brislington in Bristol next month, following a trial in Glasgow since 2006.
The group is planning to cash in on its large customer base and trusted brand at a time when the public is becoming increasingly disillusioned with the banking sector.
The first branches within its stores will offer the current Tesco personal finance range of products, including contents insurance, , loans, (Tesco currently ranks as one of our Best Buy loans) and savings accounts.
But the group is hoping to expand the range to include current accounts within 18 months to two years, once it has the IT platforms it needs in place. It also plans to start offering mortgages at some point in the future.
Half a million savers
Tesco said earlier this month that it had seen a near doubling in the amount of money people deposited with it during the past six months, with more accounts opened during December alone, than in the whole of 2007, bringing its saver numbers up to around 500,000.
The supermarket’s financial services division was set up as a joint venture with Royal Bank of Scotland 11 years ago, but Tesco bought out RBS’ stake in the business in July last year for £950 million.
The group recently announced plans to recruit more than 200 staff to work in the Edinburgh headquarters of its financial arm, and it has appointed a raft of non-executive directors who formerly worked at major financial institutions such as Barclays and Scottish Widows to Tesco Personal Finance.
© Press Association 2009