Tesco Bank's chief executive, Benny Higgins, has suggested that its long-anticipated launch into the mortgage market will happen by as early as April this year.
Tesco Bank initially planned to enter the market by the end of 2010, but has been forced to delay several times; most recently, because of problems with migrating existing products onto new systems.
However, in an interview with The Times, Higgins said of mortgages: "We would expect to launch in the next couple of months."
A spokeswoman for Tesco Bank confirmed it was planning to enter the mortgage market in "the coming months", but said it was not in a position to discuss specific details about the launch date or product range.
In the interview, Higgins also brushed off suggestions that its delay into the mortgage market was due to problems with the FSA and claimed the bank has a good relationship with the regulator.
However, he confirmed that Tesco Bank will now delay its launch of current accounts until 2013, saying the bank is not ready to launch into the market yet and will wait until a new, industry-wide switching service is set up by the Payments Council. This must be in place by September 2013.
Higgins said: "Getting it absolutely right at launch is more important than rushing it."
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