B2 launches high-interest account

Barclays Bank’s telephone and Internet arm B2 is to launch a high-interest deposit account, ending months of speculation that it is about to fold.

The deposit account will launch in May to rival high-interest savings accounts from companies such as the Prudential’s Egg and Standard Life Bank.

Nearly two years ago, B2 launched into the ISA market in a &£15m campaign through Banks Hoggins O’Shea/FCB.

The new account will be B2’s first non-ISA product, making its debut into mainstream retail banking.

B2 is considering launching other products, such as loans or a credit card, but plans to offer mortgages are understood to have been put on hold.

Anthony Pascale, director of strategy at B2, says it will launch a number of new products this year, but he declined to comment on specific plans.

B2 has about 150,000 customers and manages assets worth &£277m.

When launched, B2 targeted the under-35s. Initially, it was not allowed to use the parent company’s customer database, although sources say that policy was dropped last year because B2 wasn’t attracting enough customers.

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