Tesco delays current account launch

Tesco delays current account launch

Tesco Bank has put back the introduction of its current account service until next year, citing the planned industry-wide account-switching system for the delay.

The retail giant's finance unit - which already claims around 6.5 million customers for its credit cards, insurance and other services - had hoped to launch current accounts later this year.

However, the date has now been put back, with the firm citing the introduction of a system that will make it easier for customers to ditch their current providers.

Last year the Independent Commission on Banking (ICB) set its sights on the often difficult process of account switching as part of its push for increased competition in the sector.

The country's banks, through the Payments Council's board, responded by committing £850 million to build a system to make switching easier by September 2013. Tesco says this is a driving factor in its own timetable.

"Our launch timings are not yet confirmed but will be driven by delivering the right product for Tesco customers, as well as the speed of implementation of new industry-wide systems to help customers switch current accounts more easily," says a statement.

The latest delay comes after an October decision to put back the roll out of mortgages and current accounts to "early 2012" following problems encountered during the summer, when savings and loans products were transferred in-house from its old joint venture with the RBS to a new core banking platform from Fiserv.

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