M&S confirms in-store bank rumours
Marks and Spencer has confirmed rumours that it is launching a new high street bank in partnership with HSBC.
The retailer announced today that it will open 50 in-store bank branches as an extension of its existing M&S Money joint venture with HSBC.
M&S bank will offer current accounts, mortgages, and other financial products and each branch will keep the same opening hours as the store in which it is located, even at weekends.
The in-store branches will include self-service banking points and will cater for the comfort of customers with private meeting areas, M&S furniture and even fresh flowers.
The bank will also offer an online banking service and UK-based customer contract centres.
It will start offering current accounts this autumn and customers will be able to pre-register their interest in the product from July.
M&S chief executive Marc Bolland said: “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.”
Since the credit crunch, UK banks have been stuggling to regain customers’ trust.
In a recent YouGov survey, 63 per cent of the 2,060 adults questioned said they “cannot trust any bank”.
As a trusted UK brand, M&S could attract some of these disenchanted customers to its new banking proposition.
Major high-street banks, including LloydsTSB and Barclays, gained a trust rating of just 28 per cent in the YouGov survey.
However HSBC, which has backed M&S Money products since 2004, was also given a trust rating of 28 per cent.
In line with earlier speculation, the first M&S bank branch will open in July at the retailer’s Marble Arch store in London, with more branches being rolled out over the next two years.
Colin Kersley, M&S Bank’s chief executive, said that the venture would provide customers “with a credible, alternative choice in the banking sector”.