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Sainsbury’s to exit core banking business

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J Sainsbury plans to withdraw from financial services and offload its core banking business to other providers as the British supermarket turns its focus back on retail following a strategic review of the business.

Sainsbury’s said on Thursday it was planning a “phased withdrawal” from Sainsbury’s Bank, the lender it fully owns, to instead provide financial services via third parties through a “distributed model”.

A person familiar with the plans said this would affect its credit cards, store cards, loans, savings account as well as the Argos store card.

Many British retailers including Marks and Spencer, John Lewis and Tesco, entered financial services in the 1990s, at a time of strong lending growth. But fierce competition in the savings and…

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