01 August 1997

A QUESTIONNAIRE has been mailed to Barclaycard's nine million customers asking if they would consider buying electrical goods, travel services, even groceries direct from the UK's leading card issuer. PEPs, Tessas, pensions and car insurance were also mentioned. Results from the research will form the cornerstone of Barclaycard's expansion into other market sectors - a response to the erosion of its brand leadership by cut-price invaders from across the Atlantic, incursions by major supermarkets and Virgin's expected move into the financial sector [previous page]. However, the Barclaycard brand is still the strongest by far in the UK financial services market, according to recent research by merchant banker Dresdener Kleinwort Benson and Interbrand. Barclaycard intends to keep it that way - albeit playing-down its ambitions: 'We have to know what our customers want so that any additional offers we make suit them; it is simply a questionnaire to see what our customers are interested in', says a company spokeswoman.