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A big Australian bank will start selling mobile phones

Samsung Galaxy S10. (Image: Samsung)

Macquarie Bank will reportedly make a surprise entry into the mobile phone market, launching a brand and a website ahead of a public launch.

Nu Mobile, as first reported by Fairfax Media, has a website running that only says "coming soon".

The site does not mention Macquarie anywhere, but company records show the financial firm owns Nu Mobile, with the directors and secretaries all being bank employees.

The brand will reportedly sell mobile plans on the Telstra network bundled together with second-hand smartphones. That model is unheard of in Australia, but is widespread in other countries like the United States.

As new premium smartphones exceed the $2,000 mark, Macquarie seems to be betting on Australians wanting a cheaper alternative to buying handsets.

Macquarie is already in the mobile market in the background – it reportedly leases smartphones to retailers, to be on-leased to end customers. So the investment firm actually owns used handsets that are due to be returned at the end of its lease term.

Macquarie Group shares were up 0.83 per cent to hit $135.62 as at 3:09pm Wednesday.

Disclaimer: the journalist owns Macquarie Group shares.

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