Major UK retailer John Lewis has launched a subsidiary company to provide financial services for its customers.

The new spin-off entity, called Greenbee, will ultimately offer a comprehensive range of financial services products to be marketed through various channels, including the internet and direct in-store promotions. However, initially, the new business will offer insurance for the travel, home, wedding and events sector, along with travel and ticketing services.

Insurance services will be conducted through partnership agreements with Axa and Friends Provident, with the latter facilitating the offering of life insurance products from 2007.

Greenbee managing director James Furse said: Customers of John Lewis and Waitrose keep telling us that they would like to have the same level of trust and confidence in other areas of their shopping that they have grown accustomed to with us and that is the essence of Greenbee.

We are complementing our physical and online retailing strengths by offering a range of financial, travel and ticket services that are highly suited to online retailing.