Tesco finance unit shuns Lloyds and RBS assets

Tesco is not interested in any assets bailed-out banks Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland will be forced to sell to satisfy EU antitrust worries, the head of Tesco Personal Finance said.<br /><br />Benny Higgins also said on the sidelines of the Euro Finance Week conference yesterday that Tesco might not launch a current account until well into 2011, later than some analysts had expected.<br /><br />&ldquo;We don&rsquo;t need a branch network. We already have a very large physical presence,&rdquo; Higgins said. &ldquo;The thing that we don&rsquo;t have, that we are building, is infrastructure, but the problem is people that are selling things aren&rsquo;t selling infrastructure.&rdquo;<br /><br />Tesco Personal Finance is building up its own infrastructure to &ldquo;stand on our own two feet&rdquo; and is close to finalising a deal with an IT supplier for the banking platform, Higgins added.<br /><br />Lloyds and RBS agreed to sell a string of assets including RBS&rsquo;s insurance unit and more than 900 branches between them over four years as part of a deal struck earlier this month that was aimed at appeasing British authorities and EU competition regulators. <br /><br />Higgins said there was no final decision yet on when to launch a current account or get into mortgages.