Any other business - 17/10

Newspapers, cigarettes, maybe a bit of booze – and a new bank account, please. That’s right, French tobacconists are taking on traditional lenders by offering a new line of current accounts. The 27,000 tabacs hope they can win customers by offering cheap, stripped down accounts alongside the convenience of banking in your corner shop. It will be called the “Nickel” account, and comes with a debit card. French banks traditionally charge about €30 (£25), so the tabacs hope to undercut that with a €20 charge. Could it catch on here? It is not as far fetched as it might sound – some payment services are already offered, like pay as you go gas top-ups and Oyster card payments. And even the Church of England has threatened to take on payday lender Wonga.