The UK's third largest supermarket group Sainsbury's has revealed it is in advanced negotiations with Lloyds Banking Group to take complete control of the Sainsbury's Bank joint venture.
Sainsbury's Bank was created in 1997 by the supermarket chain and Bank of Scotland - which Lloyds took over in 2009 - but Sainsbury's now wants to acquire full ownership.
The venture is currently split in half between the two parties and a deal to buy Lloyds out would likely cost Sainsbury's hundreds of millions of pounds, however it will enable the retailer to bolster its banking services and take advantage of its brand.
Sainsbury's banking service provides a range of products including insurance, credit cards, savings and loans.
Tesco, one of Sainsbury's big rivals, agreed a similar deal with the Royal Bank of Scotland in 2008 to buy control of its own bank for £950 million.
Sainsbury's is to reveal its annual results on Wednesday (8 May).
By Gary Cooper