Abbey National has joined the online banking market, launching its own internet based banking service.
The bank hopes to attract one million customers to its service within a year, and five million over the next four years. It faces stiff competition in this goal, as many of its competitors have already gone online.
Barclays has more than 750,000 customers using its service, and Prudential's Egg has about 900,000 users.
Abbey intends to target its current 15 million customers initially, specifically those who hold their main current accounts at other banks.
Abbey National director of e-commerce Ambrose McGinn says: “This is going to present the biggest single threat to the existing banks in many years. We have invested millions in providing what we believe to be the best e-banking service launched yet.”