Lakeside takes the credit

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One of the UK's biggest shopping centres, Lakeside, announced yesterday that it is to become the first to launch its own credit card.

The move is the latest in the increasingly tough competition in the credit- card world. The strategic analysts Datamonitor predicted yesterday that a price war was inevitable with the introduction of transatlantic competitors and other new entrants such as the supermarket giant Tesco.

Lakeside in Thurrock, Essex, has linked up with Midland Bank to introduce the Lakeside Visa Card on 9 September. Shoppers will be given incentives to open the account including a pounds 10 Lakeside gift voucher and the card, which has no annual fee, can be used at more than 12 million Visa outlets worldwide as well as in stores in the centre.