Britain's largest bank Lloyds TSB has shelved for the foreseeable future the UK launch of its pan-European stand-alone online bank Evolvebank, choosing instead a partnership with the nation’s biggest utilities company Centrica.

Evolvebank’s UK operations will now link with Centrica’s existing credit card service Goldfish to launch an online operation with the latter’s piscine branding.

The decision seems to be the result of the huge advertising costs facing stand-alone online banks. “When this joint venture opportunity emerged it was attractive compared with the alternative of piling large sums of money into acquiring customers,” explained Evolvebank’s chief executive Jayne Almond.

Although Evolvebank has already been launched in Spain, in the UK Lloyds will focus on the venture with Centrica and its online service for existing customers, “We have decided to put Evolvebank on the back-burner in the UK although we still have the option to come back to it at some point in the future,” said Almond.

The Goldfish bank will be overseen by Peter Barrett, currently managing director of Centrica’s financial services division.

News source: Financial Times