Alliance & Leicester has announced that it will launch a mobile phone banking service in the new year.

Designed to compliment, not replace, its online banking service, the mobile version will be run via the Monilink network so that customers can access their accounts wherever they are.

Those that register for the service will be able to view mini statements and balance enquiries from their mobile.

In order to keep the information safe, no personal details are stored on the handset; data is accessed through password, and information displayed is then deleted.

Customers with pay as you go mobiles will also be able to directly top-up their mobile accounts.

Alliance & Leicester is not the first financial institution to offer mobile banking. HSBC unveiled its mobile banking service in October; it requires customers to download a small Java application to use it.

After launch, the bank is planning to roll out other mobile services, including the ability to access other accounts, the ability to transfer money, or even pay a bill.