British Gas owner Centrica and Lloyds TSB are teaming up to launch a telephone and internet bank under the Gold fish brand next year.
The bank will initially offer current and saving accounts online and by telephone and will go on to offer mortgages and life insurance.
The joint venture will be known as Goldfish Holdings in which Goldfish owner Cen trica will have a 70 per cent share and Lloyds will have a 30 per cent share.
Subject to FSA approval, the bank hopes to start trading in the second quarter of next year and is aiming to attract two million customers by 2005.
Nine million British Gas customers will be the initial targets with marketing literature for the new bank and Goldfish's one million credit card customers may also be transferred to the venture.
The technology for the operation will be based around Lloyds' evolvebank. com internet-only bank which it is currently rolling out.
Centrica chief executive Roy Gardner says: “With the experience of Lloyds and the technological expertise of evolvebank.com, our joint venture will combine the best elements of internet banking, telebanking and integrated money management.”