Lloyds TSB bank launched its corporate university this week.
With 77,000 potential students, the bank claims the University for Lloyds TSB is "likely to be the largest corporate university in Europe". But traditional universities will not necessarily benefit from more links with the bank after the launch.
Higher education courses will account for only a small fraction of the training carried out by Lloyds TSB. The bank decided on the university title to reflect the universality of training provision; its system is based on the University for Industry model of a central telephone service that directs callers to education providers.
A spokesman said Lloyds TSB did not need permission to use the university title because it was an in-house initiative. The government welcomed the move, but said it "did not necessarily endorse" the title.
"The University for Lloyds TSB will be able to issue certificates in its own name, or jointly with external organisations. We are not setting up in competition with traditional universities," said Eric Linin, senior manager for training and development.
The bank already has links with the University of Warwick's business school. "We would hope the launch of the University for Lloyds TSB will strengthen links with universities," said Bernard O'Discoll, divisional head of human resources operations for Lloyds TSB.
But Mr Linin said the bank would not be allocating extra money for training. Instead it would boost workstation-based instruction by cutting the number of people it sends externally for face-to-face training.