01 January 2000

THE ANGUISH of an overdraft is likely to be assuaged by caffeine therapy for customers of Abbey National, which plans to install Costa Coffee outlets in several of its larger branches. The bank hopes to have fifty of the Whitbread-owned coffee shops in branches across the UK within three years.

Said Abbey National retail manager Andrew Pople: ‘The concept works on every level. It improves the attractiveness of our stores and creates a softer, more pleasant and enjoyable environment for customers to relax and consider their more important financial decisions.’ As well as coffee bars, Abbey also plans to offer customers internet access and meeting areas within its branches.