Halifax Bank of Scotland-owned Birmingham Midshires is launching a service that will allow non-financial brands to offer savings accounts. It claims that companies could use the branded accounts as an incentive to buy products.
Birmingham Midshires is targeting brands including car manufacturers and retailers.
“White-labelling” of credit cards, allowing a variety of brands and sectors to offer cards under their own name, has been commonplace for several years. Birmingham Midshires hopes to develop this trend into savings accounts. Birmingham Midshires will provide the infrastructure, including telephone support, for the companies offering the accounts. It has set up a subsidiary called BM Partnerships to look after the venture, which will be overseen by head of savings and investment Tim Hague.
The initiative is designed to capitalise on the rising concern about the level of consumer borrowing in the UK. Research conducted for Birmingham Midshires shows that only 48 per cent of the UK adult population currently saves, and that most people save less than £50 a month.
A spokesman for the bank says: “There are a lot of trusted names that are not getting the most of their brands.”