Tesco launches current accounts

<p>Tesco is making current accounts available for the first time.</p>

The share price of Tesco is down this morning (June 10th) after the company announced it is making current accounts available to consumers.

Shopping discounts will be on offer to those who sign up for a Tesco current account, with the firm following in the footsteps of fellow retailer Marks and Spencer in entering the banking industry over the course of 2014.

Speaking to BBC News, Benny Higgins, the chief executive of Tesco Bank, stated that the account will be "very transparent". He said: "Customers tell us they are very tired of the smoke and mirrors and the need to pay attention to the small print. We are setting out to be very clear and transparent."

Mr Higgins added: "I don't think it's likely that it's an impulse buy and that we would have high levels of switching overnight. But I hope, in time, this will become a very good product for very many Tesco customers and beyond."

As well as Tesco's new current account, organisations such as the Post Office have been offering new options for members of the public this year, while some of the UK's biggest banks have also rolled out new current accounts in 2014.

Tesco Bank, which already has six million customers signed up to its cards, with 12 per cent of the UK's credit card spending taking place on Tesco Bank accounts.

Account details

Customers will be able to sign up for a Tesco current account for free, as long as they pay in at least £750 a month. Mr Higgins revealed that the account will pay an interest rate of three per cent on amounts up to £3,000, while there will be no fixed monthly fee for an agreed overdraft.

He said: "We think this product is absolutely first class value.” Mr Higgins added customers "do not enjoy languishing with 0% interest" on current accounts offered by other companies.

The share price of Tesco is slightly down this morning on the back of its move into the current account marketplace. By 08.18 BST, stocks were down almost 0.7 per cent. Shares in the firm have taken a hit in recent days after the company announced like-for-like UK sales for the three months to May 24th were down 3.7 per cent.

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