Sweden’s leading food retailer, ICA, half-owned by Dutch food giant Ahold, has today (10 November) formally filed for bank charter at the Swedish Finance Inspection Board.

ICA plans to offer full banking services to its 2.7m active card members throughout Sweden and Norway.
Cardholders are currently able to withdraw cash up to SKr300 at each purchase, but now deposits could reach SKr15,000, while credit of up to SKr12,000 may be offered. “Our aim is [to] be the best alternative to our customers, and they will be able to reach it through our retail outlets, Internet and telephone,” revealed vice managing director Johan Röhss.

Full details of the new financial services are not yet available, but ICA said a wide range will be offered and that its ambition is to move swiftly. “We hope that we should be up and running in the third quarter of next year,” said Jörgen Wennberg, marketing director and vice managing director of the new bank.