Retailer John Lewis yesterday announced a move into financial services.

It launched a new company called Greenbee, which will offer insurance and travel products online and by phone.

The move follows the expansion of other major retail chains into the sector.

Initial products include home, travel, wedding and event insurance plus an online travel service and ticket guide.

The company, which has stores across the country including a major one at Solihull, said its Greenbee range was aimed at its eight million John Lewis and Waitrose customers.

John Lewis Partner-ship's chairman Sir Stuart Hampson said: "Greenbee is bringing the same essential values of trust, simplicity and service of the John Lewis and Wait-rose shopping experience to new areas of our customers' lives."

Greenbee has teamed up with partners such as Axa, Expedia and See Tickets for its initial range of products.

Other life assurance and travel services are expected to follow next year.