UK finance houses to set up online supermarkets

Top UK personal finance companies are vying to be first in the race to launch an online supermarket, selling a range of financial products.

Goldfish, Egg, Fidelity Investment services and US Internet broker Charles Schwab are planning to launch their own supermarkets, which will offer competitors’ products alongside their own through a branded distribution operation.

They will initially be Web-based and confined to investment products such as shares, unit trusts, Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs), pensions and life insurance.

But in the longer term product ranges could be extended to include loans, mortgages, savings accounts and credit cards and could be rolled out to branch networks.

Charles Schwab, the US execution-only Internet stockbroker which came to the UK last year and has plans to roll out 50 branches in the UK and Europe, confirms it is looking to set up a supermarket.

It already offers a financial supermarket in the US through its 300 branches and Website.

Direct bank Egg is also expected to launch a supermarket selling investment products later this year. Goldfish is considering a similar move. Both see supermarkets as an opportunity to promote their consumer-oriented brands.

Fidelity confirms it is working to create an investment supermarket, initially confined to independent financial advisers (IFAs).

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