AXA is to team up with The Woolwich to offer a seamless list of insurance and banking services on its new internet portal.

The new distribution channel, Axa Open Plan from Woolwich, takes its name from the lender's integrated banking service, which has been advertised widely on television.

The service will provide both Axa and The Woolwich with significant cross-selling opportunities and will be available on digital television, WAP mobile telephones and the internet from the end of the year. This is in addition to more conventional access points such as automatic cash machines and a call centre. However, Axa stressed it will continue to offer its products through its existing broker channel.

Customers logging on to the Axa host site will be able to buy its core insurance and investment products before proceeding to satellite links to The Woolwich and other finance companies.

Mark Wood, chief executive of Axa, said: "This partnership is in line with our strategy of offering Axa's eight million customers products and services from leading providers in addition to our own."

The Woolwich, for its part, will benefit by having access to Axa's non-broker insurance customers.

John Stewart, group chief executive of The Woolwich, hailed the partnership with Axa as groundbreaking.

"I'm delighted that a company of Axa's calibre has become the first financial institution to form a partnership with us to make anytime, anyhow, anywhere banking more widely available," said Stewart.