Multiple branch closures and a complete exit out of unprofitable current accounts
M&S Bank has announced that it is closing 29 branches this summer, as well as shutting down all current accounts held by customers.
Customers that are impacted will be contacted by the bank starting from Wednesday 4th April. They’ll be offered the chance to close their account down completely or switch it to another banking provider using CASS – the Current Account Switching Service.
The aim is to have all accounts closed by August, although accounts with a zero balance and no outstanding fees or charges may be closed sooner. Anyone in an overdraft or with fees will need to pay off their debt before the bank account is closed.
As well as current accounts, the monthly saver savings accounts will also be shut down.
M&S Bank currently has 3 million customers in the UK across its various products. Digital banking services will remain, with a focus taken away from the high street and in-store banking.
Short Lifespan Of Popular Bank
M&S Bank first partnered with HSBC in 2010, before opening up the option of current accounts four years later in 2014. The accounts are underwritten by HSBC to protect customer funds.
The bank was popular with existing Marks and Spencer shoppers due to the loyalty bonuses and joining offers available. At various times customers have been able to take advantage of gift cards for M&S when switching to the bank, and vouchers that rewarded customers for staying with the service.
Plus, customers could earn extra loyalty points for their spending within Marks and Spencer stores and online at the M&S website – with one point earned for every £1 spent.
7 years after the current accounts were first offered, they are now being closed along with the in-store branches. The in-store travel money counters that exist in over 100 M&S branches will remain unaffected.
It’s been confirmed that staff have entered consultation and may be made redundant although figures have not yet been announced.
Renewed Focus On Credit & Digital
Following the news, the bank has confirmed that digital banking services will be available including a focus on credit cards and the Sparks reward card. A new credit card offering is expected as part of the changes.
Other services will include insurance, savings and loans. Customers will be able to manage their M&S banking services and rewards online and over the phone only once the banking branches are closed in store.
As we adapt to meet the changing needs of our customers, and we deliver some new – more digitally-focused products and services – it does regrettably mean we will move away from branch-based servicing and the 29-in-store bank branches and associated current account will close this summer.
We’re now firmly focused on supporting both our customers and colleagues through this change, and the delivery of our transformation plans, which will create new and rewarding payment solutions for M&S shoppers, both in-store and online.