Smile, the Internet banking arm of the Co-operative Bank will offer online-banking services for Apple users by the end of the year.

The bank has been conducting beta testing of its Mac service for some time, said spokesman David Smith, who added: "We’ve been working since day one to make our service Mac-friendly, we didn’t deliberately ignore Mac users."

He explained: "Many of our potential customers are Apple users, but we want to ensure that we do this properly, and the service is secure – unlike some of our competitors."

Service soon Company insiders claim Smile may be ready to launch a Mac-friendly service within weeks, but Smith denies this.

Smith claimed: "We are testing, and are close to readiness, but there is more work to do. We don’t want potential customers expecting the service in weeks, and then being disappointed. We hope to launch by the end of the year."

First Direct and NatWest recently joined the battle to serve the financial needs of Macintosh users, joining Citibank, Egg and Barclays.