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Tesco targeting 10% of the UK’s financial market?

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Many news outlets today are reporting that Tesco’s revealed an ambition to take 10% of financial services custom: Daily Mail, ThisIsMoney, MoneyMarketing, Talking Retail and of course Banking Times.

Tesco has already of course an active financial services offering, including savings and insurance products, and has already announced its plans to offer mortgages. Their alleged announcement (much quoted, but not found by us I’m afraid) is interesting due to the scale of ambition – a quality we expect from Tesco, of course.

The proposed size would put Tesco at about half the size of Barclays and a similar size to Santander, with the growth (and competition) driven by a move into current accounts.

Supermarkets used to be vilified as the exploitative face of capitalism and globalisation in some quarters, but with banks now occupying the role of social bogeymen it’s open to supermarkets to offer a more trusted and benign face of money management.

While it’s unlikely that Tesco will offer riskier mortgage lending or investment banking, but with 20 million customers each week and detailed information on 15 million ClubCard holders it’s clear that Tesco has an enviable reach.

Other retailers have financial services offerings (indeed Argos has launched a comparison site for financial products recently – see our news item on this) but none have grasped the sector with such vigour as Tesco to date.

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