BENNY Higgins, chief executive of Tesco Bank, has admitted that the launch of mortgages has been delayed to the summer of 2011 although he denied it had anything to do with tightened regulation by the City watchdog.
• Tesco's Benny Higgins confirmed delay Picture: Ian Rutherford
Higgins claimed it was a "modest delay" and that it was "no big deal".
He described as inaccurate reports that the bank's launch of mortgages had been caught in a regulatory clampdown. "It has been inaccurately headlined as being an issue with the Financial Services Authority. There is no issue," he said.
When asked what caused the delay he said: "We just need to get it right. We also need to follow due regulatory process."
Higgins said the Edinburgh-based firm would apply to the FSA for a variation of permission which is required to start selling mortgages. Once submitted processing is expected to take up to six months.
Speaking to The Scotsman at his Haymarket head office ahead of an address to Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, he denied suggestions that Tesco Bank would not expand in the city if the tram system was cancelled although he added that the importance of public transport was "self evident".
He said: "We need to find more head office space in Edinburgh. I have never expressed any view on the trams."
He said the bank was in discussions about a number of locations thought to be in the west end. "It has to be the right place for staff to communicate with people here (Haymarket] and at the right price."
Source: the scotsman
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