The Musgrave group has poured cold water on reports that it is to open a fully fledged bank, but is planning on entering the financial services market.
The group said it was at the very early stages of planning and it would not be until the end of next year at the earliest that it would roll out a limited suite of finance products for its customers.
A spokesperson for the group, which owns a number of retail brands including SuperValu, Superquinn and Centra, said it had no plans to become a lending bank.
“Musgrave wishes to clarify that it has no plans to launch a bank. We are in the early stages of looking at providing services such as insurance products to our customers, but these plans do not include personal or commercial loans,” a spokesperson said.
The denial followed a report in a Sunday newspaper that the group was set to take on the Irish banking heavyweights, AIB and Bank of Ireland by entering the private and commercial lending markets using the group’s existing retail outlets as a branch network.
However, Musgrave said it was simply responding to customer demand and will be offering services that fit with its retail brands.
“Musgrave is exploring the financial services space after receiving customer feedback that this is one of a number of services they would like to see offered by our retail brands.
“We would reiterate that we have no plans to launch a bank. It is important to note that all plans in the financial services area are in their infancy; therefore nothing will be launched in the short-to-medium term,” a spokesperson for the company said.
The Musgrave group will be following in the footsteps of some of the larger UK-based multiples who have diversified into offering financial services, such as Sainsbury’s and Tesco. These retailers have capitalised on their existing customer loyalty schemes to offer them tailored financial products.
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