Tesco Bank to create 650 jobs in two years

Tesco Bank will double its Scottish workforce. Pic: Jane Barlow
Tesco Bank will double its Scottish workforce. Pic: Jane Barlow
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TESCO Bank is to create 650 jobs over two years in Scotland as it announced it would be launching its first current account in the middle of next year.

An immediate 150 posts will be created in Edinburgh with the strong likelihood of hundreds more to follow by 2015.

The majority of the new posts will be in a team responsible for serving current account holders.

The bank said most of the positions were full-time, and instead of incentivising sales it will offer a competitive basic salary and pension scheme.

The Edinburgh-based bank which is headed by former HBOS and RBS executive Benny Higgins, already sells loans and credit cards and last year began offering mortgages.

In announcing the first tranche of new jobs Mr Higgins revealed that the number of staff is expected to double in two years as business continues to grow.

He said: “Since 2008, we have invested to build a bank for Tesco customers. We now have more than 6.8 million accounts and offer straightforward, transparent products which reward loyalty and 
provide great value.

“We are making excellent progress towards the launch of our current account next year and the recruitment of these roles is an important milestone.”

Tesco Bank, a joint venture with Royal Bank of Scotland until 2008, opted to wait until new account switching rules came into force in September before launching the current account.

And with other banks having faced systems shutdowns Mr Higgins insisted its new IT systems would be robust.

“At the very outset when we started building the bank five years ago we had to make choices about the core-infrastructure. We chose modern flexible systems, but first and foremost we chose a system that is tried and tested. It has been a Herculean task building it,” he said.

“The first three-and-half-years heralded the biggest transformation, the biggest build I have ever been involved in and that was to replace RBS dependency. And it was only once we completed that, we turned our attention to current accounts.

“It is very important customers are served well and IT is an essential part of serving them well.”

The bank currently employs around 4000 staff across four offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle.

The launch will mean more banks providing current accounts, offering the potential for more competition in the market.

On Monday, David Nicholson, group director of the Halifax Community Bank, said it was “the most switched-to banking brand” as it returned to the Scottish high street for the first time in a 
decade.

He said people have been switching from troubled rivals such as RBS and the Co-op Bank.

Halifax, part of the Lloyds Banking Group, was said to be on target to pull in 300,000 current account customers in a year, with 200,000 switching from other providers.

Halifax, which opened a new branch in Aberdeen with others following in Edinburgh and ­Glasgow, is presenting itself as a “challenger” bank in 
Scotland.

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