01 January 1999

INTERNET and telephone bank Egg, hatched recently by Prudential Corporation, has opted for an all-out assault on Virgin Direct’s backyard -’ a range of retail funds based on a low-cost index tracker. According to chief executive Mike Harris, Egg’s phenomenally successful savings account (£1.3bn in deposits in its first three months) may not be required to make a profit - ever. Instead it may become a loss-leader for other Egg products such as insur-ance, ISAs and investments. This is Virgin territory, heavily fortified with promotional activity, but Harris claims Egg will rival this with ‘innovative’ products - details of which remain under the wraps. Egg has undertaken to pay a minimum of one per cent above base rate on all deposits in 1999 and at least match the base rate next year: ‘Our intention is to maintain the guarantee indefinitely’, Harris avers.