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Published 06 September 2013 14:01, Updated 24 October 2013 10:34
Term deposit in your trolley? Retail giant Coles is seeking a banking licence .
Retailing giant Coles will tackle the major banks head on as it seeks a formal banking licence, allowing it to add savings accounts to its existing financial services products.
Coles is understood to be well down the track in obtaining an Authorised Deposit-taking Institution licence from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, which will allow it to take deposits under its own name rather than in partnership with a bank.
The move comes as supermarkets spread their reach into the financial services sector, offering products such as insurance and credit cards.
The licence is likely to be held by Coles’s parent, Wesfarmers, under a non-operating holding company structure such as that undertaken by Suncorp to distinguish its banking and insurance operations. Coles’s car insurance product is already issued by Wesfarmers.
In September last year Coles trademarked the brand “Coles Money” and the trademark was accepted April. The lodgement said the classes of goods and services covered included financial monetary and banking services and insurance services. Two other trademarks “Coles Financial Solutions” and “Coles Financial Group” were also accepted in April.
Critically too for the expansion of financial services products into full banking, Coles’s 20-year agreement with global cards giant GE Capital winds up in 2015 and Coles has the option to buy out its partner.