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Last Updated: Monday, 27 October, 2003, 15:40 GMT
Asda to sell life insurance
Asda sign
Asda is now targeting financial services
Asda is to offer its 11 million weekly shoppers the chance to buy life and mortgage insurance along with their groceries.

It is the first time that Wal-Mart, the owners of Asda, has sold life and mortgage insurance through any of its worldwide stores.

The move follows the recent decision by Wal-Mart to start selling motor, travel and home insurance through UK Asda stores.

Asda is the latest major food retailer to try and sell complex financial services to its customers.

Until recently it had refrained from entering the financial services market.


However, Asda's major supermarket rivals Tesco and Sainsbury's have sold financial services to their customers for several years.

Our life insurance products are aimed at customers who are already, or may in the future, be paying over the odds
David Rutley, Asda
The sale of financial services was described as a "key strategic priority" by a Wal-Mart spokesperson.

Recently, according to industry group TNS Superpanel, Asda became the UK's second biggest supermarket chain, thanks in part to the sharp discounting of goods.

According to the retailer it hopes to bring its cost-cutting approach to the life and mortgage insurance marketplace.

"This is a further illustration of our commitment to this area...our life insurance products are aimed at customers who are already, or may in the future, be paying over the odds," David Rutley, Asda's director of financial services, said.

Initially, leaflets outlining the supermarkets life and mortgage insurance products will be available through 40 Asda stores.

Scottish Widows, owned by Lloyds TSB, will help oversee the sale of life and mortgage products to Asda customers.

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