INTERNET BANK Egg has formed a strategic alliance with Microsoft to offer online financial products to investors in the UK and the rest of Europe.

The alliance with the US software giant would start with a fund supermarket, which would allow UK users to choose between a range of investment funds available through the Microsoft’s MoneyCentral channel.

Preliminary pilot tests are expected to begin in the autumn and if successful roll on to a launch in early 2002.

Egg said the plan was to extend the relationship from funds into other financial products and services from the UK into the rest of Europe.

Chief Executive Paul Gratton said: “This first deal with Microsoft will enable us to further develop and expand our strong presence in the online investment market.

Egg was formed in 1998 by insurer Prudential, who own 80 per cent and floated off 20 per cent of it in the initial public offering. The company reported total revenues of £93 million last year and has outperformed its London-listed peers by about 40 per cent so far this year. (AMcE)

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