Freeserve, Barclays Warm Up to Small Businesses
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Freeserve (FREE) will hold 60 percent of the company while Barclays with control the remaining 40 percent. The venture is nodding to Barclay to woo its 750,000 small businesses/small office clients into the online venture, as well a tap to Freeserve's ISP customer base.
The venture's launch date is set for May, though a name for the new entity has not been released. Both company's sites will promote the new company.
Through the deal, a co-branded version of the Freeserve portal would be developed for Barclays.net ISP users.
"Barclays is already the UK's largest Internet bank. Last week we announced Barclays B2B.com in the corporate market," said John Varley, chief executive, retail financial services at Barclays. "With Freeserve we now intend to set the pace in the small business marketplace."
Varley also claimed that one in five small business banking customers already uses Barclays' online services.