UK banking group Alliance and Leicester (A&L) is establishing a new business unit focused on developing pre-paid card products and services.
The new unit, called the Prepaid Card Company Ltd (PCCL), will be 80% owned by A&L, with the remaining 20% owned by Cupera International Ltd (CIL).
The new subsidiary will purchase Cupera for £4 million in cash and loan notes, says A&L, and retain the pre-paid card assets and existing employees of the CIL Group.
CIL is expected to make a loss of £3.9 million in 2007 as a result of initial start-up costs and will have gross assets of £1.2 million, says the bank.
A&L says it has the option to purchase complete control of PCCL in the future. Cupera shareholders also have the option to sell their remaining shareholding to A&L after a minimum of three years.
CIL is the parent company of MoneyCard Group which the bank has been working with to deliver a number of pre-paid card products over the past 18 months, including a pre-paid plastic payment card designed for use by commercial clients that currently provide paper payments to customers or employees and a stored value card for designed for public sector organisations that can be used to deliver welfare payments.
Earlier this year A&L recruited James Le Brocq - formerly director of UK credit cards - as director of pre-paid cards.