Save, make, understand money


Sainsbury’s to phase out retail banking business

Sainsbury’s to phase out retail banking business
Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

The supermarket plans to wind down it banking division to focus on its food business.

The supermarket’s banking arm currently offers loans, credit cards and savings accounts and has about 1.9 million customers. 

Sainsbury’s Bank started as a joint venture with the Bank of Scotland in 1997. Sainsbury’s took full ownership in 2014, paying £248m for the remaining 50% stake of the business.

A statement from the supermarket said it had completed a strategic review of its financial services division and it was exploring a number of options. 

It said that in the future financial services products that it continued to offer would be provided by dedicated financial services providers through a distributed model – it already does this with its insurance products. 

This would involve a “phased withdrawal” from its banking business but, in the short term, there would be no immediate changes to the products or services that it provided to its customers.

Sainsbury’s: ‘Concentrating on retail business’

Jim Brown, chief executive officer of Sainsbury’s Bank, will retire and the company’s board have appointed Robert Mulhall as his successor. 

Simon Roberts, Sainsbury’s chief executive, said: “We have been clear since we launched our food first strategy in 2020 that we would concentrate our efforts on our core retail businesses and today’s announcement reflects that strategic focus. We will, of course, communicate directly to customers well in advance of any changes to their products and services.”

In August last year, the Co-operative Bank reached an agreement to acquire Sainsbury’s Bank’s mortgage portfolio.