Tesco offers first retail banking service online

Tesco has beaten its high street rivals to the launch of an online banking service.

The service, which will be linked directly with the Tesco home site at tesco.co.uk, is expected to launch before the end of the year. It will offer a selection of the products offered by Tesco Personal Finance – Tesco’s financial services joint venture with the Royal Bank of Scotland.

The site is to offer Tesco’s instant access savings account, plus a range of insurance and personal loans services. It will be the first time a retailer has launched its banking offer online.

The move is part of Tesco’s efforts to boost its Internet presence and help steal a march on rivals, such as Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer, which already offer branded financial services products.

It also caps a number of Internet initiatives announced by Tesco this week to keep ahead of rival Asda, which is doubling the reach of its own online grocery shopping service Asda@home to 1 million households.

Tesco, the leading UK grocer with a 15.7 per cent market share, has also revamped its tesco.net free Internet service provider. It will embark on a multi-million pound advertising campaign by Lowe Howard-Spink to support its online home delivery service, tescodirect.

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