Supermarket giant Sainsbury's is gearing up to start selling motor insurance through its subsidiary Sainsbury's Bank, it emerged this week.

The former man form the Pru, ex-chief executive, Sir Peter Davis, was appointed chief executive of J Sainsbury in January this year.

Davis also became a non-executive director of Sainsbury's Bank, prompting speculation that the companies would seek to increase revenues from financial services.

The high-street giant already sells pet, travel and home insurance products to its 1m account-holders. These policies are underwritten by composite insurer, Royal &SunAlliance.

A spokesman for the banking arm said: "Sainsbury's Bank has offered home insurance for a number of years and this has proved very popular as we are always looking at ways to improve service."

Sainsbury's Bank is holding talks with a number of insurers to source an underwriter for the motor product. It is six to nine months away from launch, with a life assurance product to be launched shortly after that.

The news of Sainsbury's plans to attack the motor market follows hot on the heals of rivals Marks & Spencer and Tesco making similar announcements.