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BoI to challenge major UK banks

14/04/14

The Bank of Ireland (BoI) has announced its plans to challenge some of the UK's biggest banks through its ongoing link-up with the Post Office, a connection that means it has more than 11,000 branches throughout the country.

Although it suffered during the financial crisis in Ireland and required a number of state bailouts to remain afloat, the bank is now owned by a number of savvy investors and hoping to expand over the coming years.

In an interview with the Telegraph, chief executive of the bank's UK operation Des Crowley expressed his optimism for the future and explained some of the organisation's plans for further development.

It hopes to acquire more loans and lending companies over the coming years, he suggested.

"We are seen by our parent as having a huge role in that through the mortgage market, car finance, personal finance [and] credit cards. What the Bank of Ireland group wants is to grow," argued Mr Crowley.

The British section of the organisation has been forced to rebuild after a regulatory change meant its parent had to move from the more lightly regulated branch structure it had been using to a full subsidiary operation.

Now it has extended its partnership with the Post Office until 2023; the group already has around 2.7 million customers as part of this link.

Utilising it, the chief executive feels the business can grow to challenge the likes of the Co-Op, Lloyds and Barclays as finance providers.

"We want to be their leading challenger, providing simple, transparent, accessible products to consumers right across Great Britain as an alternative to the high street banks. Twenty million potential customers walk through the doors of the Post Office every week. Our role is to work with our Post Office colleagues to make sure we attract a good selection of those customers," he concluded.

With this in mind, the bank is planning to launch a number of new current account offerings in the near future, with a trial currently underway in East Anglia.

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