Asda makes financial services play

Asda makes financial services play

UK supermarket giant Asda has re-branded its personal finance arm as it prepares to become the latest retailer to take on traditional high street banks.

Asda Money will sell products including insurance, currency exchange and a new, unlimmited cashback credit card online and in-store at the check-out to the 18 million shoppers who come through its doors every week.

However, the Walmart-owned chain is not currently planning to follow rival Tesco and roll out a full banking service, complete with current account, or Marks & Spencer, which is installing 50 new 'branches' in stores throughout the country.

The retailers are bidding to take advantage of consumer anger with banks that has been building since the 2008 crash and has reached new heights in the last two weeks over the RBS IT meltdown and Barclays Libor scandal.

Last week a flashmob descended on a Barclays branch urging people to withdraw their money and move it to more ethical alternatives - a message that appears to be gaining traction with Nationwide Building Society and the Co-op both reporting a surge in new customers.

Today Labour leader Ed Miliband floated the possibility of forcing banks to sell 1000 branches to help create two new "challengers" to the big five of Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC, RBS and Santander.

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