ASDA Finance On The Up
Asda’s move into the UK’s financial services markets has seen the supermarket giant shake up the competition, offering services from credit cards to insurance.
ASDA financial director, Gev Lynott, believes that today’s savvy consumers know how to sniff out a bargain. In fact, Asda Financial services already have over a million customers with their credit cards, insurance policies and child trust funds. However, Lynott is not one to rest on his laurels and wants to triple the amount of financial customers.
“ To get three million customers we need the public to be ready to quit their bank or building society. Luckily it’s a trend that’s growing,” added Lynott.
The modest 43-year old, started his career as a clerk at Burnley Building Society before joining Asda three years ago from M&S.
Since then, he has spearheaded Asda’s foray into the UK’s financial markets by launching an Asda credit card, a store card, a full insurance range and a growing Child Trust Fund scheme.
The supermarket has even entered the housing market charging one per cent commission, a third less than the typical estate agent rate.
On the move into the housing market, Lynott said: “ Estate agents? These guys are creaming it in.
“ House prices are up 168% in the past decade, but estate agents have more or less the same overheads, so they’re making much more money. We can get in there and make a difference.”
Lynott believes that the competition will now react accordingly to the threat that Asda pose, by cutting prices across the board.
“ We launched life insurance, brought the rates down by 10% and people had to follow us. Before, no one rocked the boat. They knew if they all held rates around the same level, no one would change.”
Lynott appear to be genuinely concerned by Britain’s growing personal debt problem. “ Personal debt is the biggest own-goal in the industry. Firms giving so much money to people even though they’re already in trouble.
“ People are topping themselves and we don’t want to get anywhere near that. We ant to be responsible.”
23rd July 2006