Marks & Spencer to launch in-store bank
Marks & Spencer has announced that it is to launch an in-store bank and current account later this year which will be backed by HSBC. The high street retailer said the move will create around 500 jobs by the end of 2013.
The first branch will open at the retailer’s flagship store in London’s Marble Arch in July with a total of 50 branches opening during the next two years.
M&S said branches will be open seven days a week and twice as long as traditional high street banks as they will mirror the retailer’s store opening hours. Customers will also be able to access a 24 hour online banking service, as well as UK based call centres.
The retailer will launch a current account in the autumn with customers being invited to pre-register their interest in July. There are also plans to offer mortgages at "a later date".
Over 3 million customers already use M&S Money products, including credit cards, loans and savings. The retailer said research amongst its Premium Club customers revealed that over 70% found the idea of an M&S current account "appealing".
Marc Bolland, M&S chief executive, said: "M&S is one of the most trusted brands on the UK high street and we’ve achieved this by continually listening and responding to the needs of our 21 million customers. This bank will be built on M&S values; putting the customer at the heart of the proposition and delivering the exceptional service that sets us apart from the competition."
Colin Kersley, chief executive of the new M&S Bank, added: "We know loyal M&S customers will be genuinely excited by the prospect of banking with their favourite retailer."
Each branch will be managed by a dedicated M&S Bank team and will feature private meeting areas, self service banking points, as well as a bureau de change. M&S said the aim was to create "a relaxed, modern banking environment for customers".
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