Bristol & West to acquire

Bristol & West to acquire

Bank of Ireland subsidiary, Bristol & West is to acquire the business-to-consumer interests of personal finance Web site for £26 million.

The purchase price includes the brand, Web site and some staff. MoneyeXtra retains the underlying technology platform, which is to form the basis for a new push into the B2B market with a view to meeting demand from financial institutions and intermediaries for e-commerce and technical infrastructure solutions.

As part of this strategy, MoneyeXtra has announced plans to purchase Crisp Computers, a UK provider of point of sale, administration, sales management, training and compliance software to the personal financial services industry, for £29.4 million. The combined group will be renamed FS Exchange.

The consumer Web site currently claims more than 500,000 unique visitors every month. Consumers use the service to conduct comparison shopping and purchase of financial services products from a wide range of providers. An investment tracking facility is also used by 300,000 investors to record and track portfolio values

Bristol & West's move for MoneyeXtra follows its recent acquisition of independent financial advisor Chase de Vere Investments, which principally serves high net worth customers. The building society says it has spotted an opportunity for a major mass-market initiative offering independent advice to consumers on a broad range of personal financial services

Bristol & West says will provide an important part of the infrastructure for this new business through its brand, Web site, existing customer base and specialist staff. The initial focus will be financial advice and transactions via the web site but in early 2001 it is planned to launch a full personal face to face and contact centre based advice service.

Bristol & West says the development of the business will follow an 'open finance' model involving the sale of products provided by third parties.

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