PRUDENTIAL’S DIRECT BANKING subsidiary Egg, which predicted at its launch last October that it would garner £5 billion in deposits within five years, announced that it has taken £3 billion in less than five months! Crowed Pru’s cockahoop chief executive Sir Peter Davis: ‘Egg is continuing to grow [since Christmas] even though interest rates have come down. People still like Egg.’ However, Davis declined to make any new forecasts about Egg’s growth, contenting himself with the forecast that it would ‘make a small profit by 2001’. Last year’s costs of £77m would be higher in 1999, although growth in Egg’s mortgage and personal loan businesses were marginally above forecast. Egg’s success means that Pru no longer har-bours its former ambition to acquire a bank or building society. Said Davis: ‘We have decided that at current prices and in view of the success of Egg, we are no longer interested in buying a bank or building society.’ He added, however: ‘We are very interested in buying unit trust and investment businesses and expanding in America and Asia.’