Sainsbury's Bank card

Sainsbury’s plans to withdraw from financial services and offload its core banking business to other providers as the British supermarket turns its focus back on retail following a strategic review of the business (Financial Times £).

The move is a continuation of the retailer’s ‘Food First’ strategy (Daily Mail).

The company is exploring a number of options for its bank – which offers savings accounts, credit cards, travel money and insurance – after a strategic review suggested it could be a distraction from a years-long overhaul, meant to bring the supermarket’s focus back to its core food and retail operations (The Guardian).

Its 1.9 million customers will see their accounts farmed out to other providers as part of what it called “a phased withdrawal from our core banking business” (The Times £).

Sainsbury’s said the exit would be gradual and there would be no immediate changes to the products or services it provides to customers (Telegraph £).

The Telegraph (£) examines how supermarkets took on the big banks – and lost, following Sainsbury’s withdrawal from financial services.

Financial Times (£) takes a look at the lessons learnt from supermarkets’ “misadventures” in banking. The paper writes: “Shoppers’ brand affection does not guarantee a retailer’s success in other sectors.” It concludes that John Lewis, which is looking for in unrelated sectors to retail, should take note.

Middle England’s favourite seller of soft furnishings and white linen, The White Company, has poached Sainsbury’s clothing and home boss Paula Nickolds to be its new chief executive (The Times £).

Naked Wines has axed more than 10% of its workforce after suffering a sharp drop in sales through the critical “golden quarter” to Christmas (The Times £).

Private equity executives are predicting a sharp increase in takeover activity as buyout firms that have held on to investments in the hope of higher prices finally begin to capitulate (Financial Times £).

Pubs should stop selling large glasses of wine to “nudge” the British people into drinking less, new research suggests (The Times £).