Lloyds TSB sub-brand Black Horse has teamed up with rival bank Morgan Stanley to launch a credit card.
Black Horse, which is part of Lloyds TSB Asset Finance Division, will offer the card to its customers. However, industry onlookers question why the consumer loans provider has not teamed up with Lloyds TSB to provide the card.
Black Horse senior manager of strategic proposition Mark Crocker says he discussed offering an affinity card through the American-owned bank after being an impressed customer.
He says Black Horse offered Lloyds TSB cards through its channels three years ago, but the response was disappointing. “The Lloyds TSB offering was not right for our customers,” Crocker adds.
Crocker says Black Horse wants to exploit the brand as a loan specialist, and as being part of Lloyds TSB group but separate to the high street bank.
However, one observer says the move is indicative of the malaise within the group. “Why have Black Horse as a brand, and then have Morgan Stanley do the card? It is a sign of the way the group is broken up and disparate – everyone is pursuing individual strategies with no thought to the overall brand.”
The card marks Morgan Stanley Consumer Bank’s second affinity partnership. Three years ago it partnered Leeds & Holbeck building society. Managing director Charlotte Hogg says the bank sees affinity partnerships as a major source of future growth in the UK and will be challenging card issuers dominating the market.