Cripps Harries Hal

Cripps Harries Hall is putting the final touches to a private banking package for clients which will include a link with a merchant bank.

"This will mean that if we have clients who have a portfolio with us, they will be able to get an automatic borrowing facility," said David Lough, head of the firm's financial services department.

The borrowing facility will allow clients to borrow a

certain amount of money without having to move investments.

He said that the firm was providing a private banking facility in the widest sense and would be defining the service more to clients.

"One person will be responsible for a client's affairs," said Lough adding that they would make the client "feel special".

The bank saw the link as giving them a route into a wider client base, he said.

One investment adviser said that the Cripps package was "unusual" and that the firm was probably looking towards the time when Crest, which was set up to facilitate electronic dealing, is introduced next summer. "If you become a Crest dealer, you will need to be able to handle people's money," he said.

Cripps, which has recently moved to new offices, is currently redesigning its stationery for the launch.

Another area which the firm is currently considering is the tax advantage for clients investing in unquoted companies.

"Private individuals and trusts can achieve considerable tax advantages by

investing in unquoted companies," Lough said.

AIM or the Rule 4.2 market, where prices are made by negotiation rather than by screen, are of particular interest, he added.