UK supermarket Tesco has received full approval from the Financial Services Authority for its takeover of the chain's personal finance arm, and poached retail banking chief Paulette Rowe from former partner Royal Bank of Scotland to head its marketing operations.
Rowe joins Tesco Personal Finance as commercial and marketing director from RBS, where she was chief executive of European consumer finance. Prior to that she was NatWest managing director of retail.
Tesco announced in July that it would acquire the 50% of the personal finance joint venture that it did not already own from the RBS.
Tesco has made no secret of its plans to become a full-service bank and expand its product set to include cards, mortgages and current accounts.
In October, Andrew Higgins, chief executive of retailing services at Tesco, told reporters that opportunities in the banking sector are bigger now than in July, when the supermarket embarked on its buy-out.
The retailer is currently piloting a banking services desk at a store in Glasgow and is understood to have issued a Request for Proposal for a core banking platform to run the extended operation on.