Boots ditches financial services as chief quits

Boots the Chemist has scrapped its financial services division and abandoned plans to offer a range of branded savings accounts and life insurance products.

The marketing director of Boots financial services division Paul Joyner has quit the company to join global information solutions provider Experian as head of UK and international marketing. The company is the leading credit reference agency in the UK.

The retailer is planning to offer consumers a credit card version of its Advantage loyalty card through a link-up with the Prudential’s Egg, but has decided not to expand its own services.

The chain has 10 million Advantage loyalty card holders and 1,321 retail outlets. The credit card scheme is likely to be launched in the autumn.

Boots was reported to be considering financial services diversification last summer (MW August 19 1999). It already offers a range of health and insurance products, which are underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance.

Its links with Royal & Sun would have made the move into life insurance straightforward, but a savings account requires a banking licence, which Royal & Sun does not have.

A Boots spokesman says: “We did investigate other financial services products, but have decided not to take the plunge.”

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