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Charcol switching site to supermart

Mortgage IFA Charcol is to convert online broking service Charcolonline into a fund supermarket offering a range of products and services from other companies.

Charcol, acquired by Bradford & Bingley in February 2000, will reposition its mortgage website later in the year as a supermarket offering products including stakeholder, bonds and Isas.

The technology for the electronic platform will also be used to power a similar service which B&B intends to offer under its own brand when the supermarket is launched.

Charcol says the two websites will offer different products, with Charcol targeting higher-net-worth clients.

Despite the shift in focus, Charcol will continue to offer mortgages online after recording “significantly” higher volumes of internet applications than last year.

The full range of financial services that both websites will provide is yet to be decided but Charcol says there will be a raft of navigation tools.

The move has resurrected speculation that Charcol is due be rebranded in line with B&B&#39s IFA operation The Market Place but the bank says it has no plans to do so in the foreseeable future.

Charcol managing director Toby Strauss says: “We believe people need a trusted brand and with Charcol and Bradford & Bingley we have two. We need to transact with customers how they want to transact with us and that is through all distribution channels.”

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