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Financial products are supermarket sweet

Financial products are supermarket sweet

Category: Money

Updated: 08/10/2010
First Published: 08/10/2010

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Until recently, the thought of applying for a financial product from a supermarket would have seemed as absurd as dropping in at your bank branch to pick up a loaf and some milk.

But record profits have meant that the supermarkets have become cash rich, allowing them to park their tanks on the UK's personal finance lawn.

Having started off by offering insurance policies alongside the weekly shop, Tesco Bank and Sainsbury's Finance now include competitive credits cards, loans and savings accounts amongst their products.

Both Tesco and Sainsbury's recently announced healthy half year profits recently and are tipped to increasingly use personal finance products to up their respective turnovers.

As well as gatecrashing the fixed rate savings market earlier this week with a couple of attractive bonds, Tesco Bank is set to launch its first mortgage in the second half of next year.

While the status quo of the personal finance world could be forgiven for looking a little worriedly over their shoulders, consumers will hope that the introduction of two heavyweights will introduce some real competition into the market.

The existing products from Tesco Bank and Sainsbury's Finance suggest those hopes could be realised in time.

In fact, the supermarkets sit in positions one and two in the Moneyfacts Best Buy tables for loans of £5,000 paid back over three years.

Sainsbury's Finance just edges out its old adversary at the top of the table, with its personal loan offering a typical APR of 8.6%, meaning borrowers would pay back a total of £5,663.88(£157.33 a month).

The equivalent product from Tesco Bank charges a typical APR of 8.7%, equating to a monthly repayment of £157.59 for three years, with £5,673 paid back in total.

When it comes to savings, the two offer products for different needs.

If you would prefer to have access to your funds and would like to perhaps add to your savings whenever you have some spare cash, then the Tesco Internet Saver could appeal.

The product is operated online and pays a good interest rate of 2.60% on deposits starting from £1.

Customers should bear in mind that the account includes a 1.35% bonus for 12 months, so a review of your options after a year is recommended.

For those lucky enough to have a decent sized chunk of equity that they'd like to invest for a short period, the Sainsbury's Finance 1 Year Fixed Rate Saver Bond could be the home your money has been looking for.

It pays a rate of 3.00% on deposits of between £5,000 and £50,000, although potential clients should be mindful that no further additions or withdrawals are allowed.

For the credit card lovers out there, the Tesco ClubCard Credit Card offers a genuine all round product that has widespread appeal. It offers 0% interest on balance transfers for nine months, meaning holders have a chance to clear their balance without seeing half of the payments eaten away by interest.

In addition, purchases are charged at 0% interest for 13 months, while one ClubCard point is awarded per £4 spent.

For the full range of credit cards, including that offered by Sainsbury's Finance, check the Best Buy tables.

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.