The wholesale and retail outlet group Musgrave is examining the potential for entering the financial services sector and in particular the sale of car, home and other types of insurance.
The project is at an early stage and an announcement may be made in the first quarter of next year, a spokeswoman for the Cork-based group said. It was not the case, as was reported at the weekend, that the group was considering entering the banking market, she added.
In 2011 Musgraves bought the 24 outlet Superquinn group and is the owner of the Supervalu and Centra brands. There are 201 Supervalu outlets and 460 Centra outlets, which are operated by their owners in partnership with Musgrave. The Superquinn outlets are to be rebranded as Supervalu outlets in February.
“We are in the early stages of looking at providing services such as insurance products to our customers, but these plans do not include personal or commercial loans,” the spokeswoman said.
“Musgrave is exploring the financial services space after receiving customer feedback that this is one of a number of services they would like to see offered by our retail brands. We would reiterate that we have no plans to launch a bank. It is important to note that all plans in the financial services area are in their infancy; therefore nothing will be launched in the short to medium term.” If the project does go ahead, it is likely to be launched some time late next year. The group is looking at what experienced people from the financial sector might be recruited to run the operation.
Tesco offers car, home and pet insurance, as well as credit cards, to the Irish market.