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Sainsburys Bank

Only five or so years ago, the idea of getting financial services from a supermarket was anathema to most consumers. Sainsburys was the first such venture- and perhaps it's testament to lazy practices from existing banks that the public took this new development in its stride.
Sainsburys Bank appeared in February 1997, and now has almost 1.5 million customers- this speedy development isn't anything to do with good bank accounts (it doesn't offer day to day banking) but a mixture of keenly priced credit products and the simple fact that we go into their branches anyway to go shopping. The other issue of course is that banks are mainly located on high streets with bad parking facilities- picking up a loan with your shopping is as physically easy as it is financially attractive.

That's not to say Sainsburys were financial experts- which is why the banking arm is only 55% owned by the supermarket- the other 45% is owned by the Halifax Bank of Scotland Group. Other customer benefits unmatched by the bank include the addition of rewards points through the Nectar scheme for purchasing financial products from Sainsburys Bank. In the community, Sainsburys Bank contributes to the same causes as the supermarket group, including trade-linked campaigns such as "Fruit in Schools" and environmentally sympathetic construction and land use policies.