Banking branch of world’s 3rd largest retailer delays current account launch in UK to 2013


LONDON — Tesco, the world’s third biggest retailer, said its Tesco Bank business in the UK has delayed the launch of its current account service until next year, it said on Monday, dealing a blow to government attempts to reduce the dominance of Britain’s big five banks.

The bank had previously intended to launch current accounts in the autumn of this year, aiming for a slice of a market dominated by Lloyds, Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC, Barclays and Santander UK.

Tesco Bank said the launch timing was now being driven by the speed of implementation of new industry-wide systems to help customers switch current accounts more easily.

“We are progressing at the right pace in our journey towards offering a full-service bank,” a spokeswoman said. “We’re close to completing the migration of our existing products and services and will continue to take a cautious approach to launching new products,” she added.

News of the current account delay at Tesco Bank comes a month after the wider group issued its first profit warning in living memory following disappointing Christmas sales.