Marks & Spencer launches in-store bank
High street chain Marks & Spencer has announced it will launch in-store bank branches from July this year.
Current account will be available from the autumn, with mortgages to follow at a later date.
The new venture will be backed by HSBC. The flagship branch will be in Marble Arch, London, and it will open in July. In addition, there will be 50 branches opened in the next two years, creating 500 extra jobs.
Customers will have access to the M&S bank during shop opening times, allowing people to bank while they shop, which will be twice as long as traditional high street banks.
Those wishing to sign up for a current account can pre-register in July and there will also be 24-hour online access available.
M&S aims to create an alternative to the high street bank and branches will include standard banking facilities, such as private meeting rooms and self-service banking points along with more personal touches such as M&S furniture and fresh flowers.
Marc Bolland, chief executive for M&S, says: “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.”
Joe Garner, head of HSBC in the UK, echoes this sentiment: “This is our most significant innovation in retail banking since we launched First Direct over 22 years ago. It is concrete evidence of HSBC increasing innovation, competition and investment in the UK.”
An account opened with a clearing bank (few building societies offer current accounts) that provides the ability to draw cash (usually via a debit card) or cheques from the account. Some pay fairly minimal rates of interest if the account is in credit. Most current accounts insist your monthly income (salary or pension) is paid directly in each month and they offer a number of optional services – such as overdrafts and charge cards – which are negotiable but will incur fees.
A property chain is a line of buyers and sellers (the “links”) who are all simultaneously involved in linked property transactions. When one transaction falls through – for instance, someone can’t get a mortgage or simply withdraws their property from sale, the entire chain breaks and all the transactions are held up or even fail entirely.