Sainsbury’s Bank is testing personal banking branches at ten supermarkets.
The telephone bank hopes to increase new business by giving the brand a physical presence.
The trial branches offer the full range of Sainsbury’s Bank products, and the format could be rolled out across its branch network.
Sainsbury’s Bank offers loans, mortgages, travel insurance, pet insurance, a savings account and a credit card.
The in-store branches come in a range of formats and have been opening this year, housed in separately-branded rooms in places including Norwich, Milton Keynes, Stevenage and Tunbridge Wells. Most have a member of staff who can accept cash deposits, offer product advice and sign new policies.
The move follows a decision by Tesco Personal Finance, the direct bank arm of its rival, to scrap a personal banking branch trial at 12 supermarkets because they were not generating enough new business (MW July 22 1999).
A Tesco Personal Finance spokeswoman said at the time that the in-store branches were not successful because customers view the service as a telephone bank rather than a branch network.
One City analyst questions whether customers are in the mood to do banking “when they have a bag full of shopping”.