UK high street chain Marks & Spencer is considering opening banks inside 55 stores through a tie up with HSBC, according to Bloomberg.
Citing "a person with knowledge of the matter", the wire says the outlets would give customers access to banking services at the selected stores by 2012.
The move to full banking will pit M&S against supermarket chains such as Sainsburys and Tesco.
Tesco Bank, the UK's largest supermarket bank with 6.5 million customer accounts, has been buying in technology and recruiting staff in Edinburgh in preparation for a full-scale banking launch. The retailer has laid out plans to introduce mortgages in the first half of next year and current accounts in the second half of 2012.
M&S sold its financial services unit M&S Money to HSBC in 2004, but continues to receive half the unit's profits after costs, amounting to some £30.4 million in its last financial year.. The retailer already offers foreign exchange services at about 100 stores, while credit cards, loans and insurance are only available online or by phone.