M&S Bank closing their current accounts

I didn’t expect this - M&S Current Account | No Monthly Fee Bank Account | M&S Bank (marksandspencer.com)

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“Customers are relying on online services more and more and we want to adapt to this”

“Therefore we’ll close everyone’s accounts, goodbye, find another bank”

Paraphrasing a bit but that’s the gist of it. Makes no sense, they should come up with a better excuse like “we’re bored”

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Sounds more like they wanted to close the in-store banking facilities?

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No. They are closing the accounts (and the branches).

Due to these changes, we will be closing M&S current accounts later this year, and this means we will also close our associated in-store bank branches.

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Just wonder how well placed they were to provide banking facilities. Or whether they’ve decided they need to put all their energy and focus into their retail activities.

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Sounds like a major shift away from providing branch-based, everyday banking. M&S has lurched from one crisis to another for the past twenty years, and I can believe that after the pandemic it will refocus its stores and services.

This is a consequence of the emergence of Monzo, Starling et al, I expect. My money’s on Co-operative Bank to disappear next.

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M&S bank was a division of HSBC, in a way just like First Direct is a division of HSBC.

I suspect M&S subsidised the instores branches as a way to get foot fall into the stores …

Co-operative bank is almost nothing to do with the the stores now. It is one of the larger providers of current accounts. And a mortgage lender.

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I though M&S Bank had something in common with HSBC. I wonder why they never offered moving everyone to HSBC :thinking:

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Co-op Bank might be a legacy bank, but I’d hardly class them as one of the larger providers.

Customers can switch to HSBC if they want and get a £125 bonus at the moment. If they’d just moved everybody over they probably wouldn’t have got any bonus for it.

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I thought the terms and conditions of that switch offer meant M&S Bank customers couldn’t get the money?

Terms and Conditions, 2 c: “You may hold a first direct and/or M&S Bank current account and still qualify for this offer as long as the current account was opened before 1 January 2018;”

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It’s not hugely surprising as, looking at the version history of the First Direct and HSBC apps, M&S Bank was obviously the poor relation and infrequently updated.

It’s USP was also probably the “convenient in-store branches” which have obviously been closed or little-used for much of the last year. With everything theoretically moving online, and the pressing need for M&S to cut costs to get out of the Covid crisis in one piece, it makes sense that banking would be for the chop as a non-core activity. This logic also is supported by most services and the bank itself staying, just the current accounts and branches being cut. Presumably the current accounts were running at a loss, but were there as a flagship product - ditto with the branches, which were probably mainly used by current account customers.

It’s still a shame as M&S will probably struggle to fill the hole in floorspace that the branches formerly took up, and customers will have to find another bank. No great loss though as none of their products were market leading (except maybe the regular saver, although rates had been slashed on those anyway).

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Did they actually have bank branches in stores? I remember seeing a travel money booth in a flagship store years ago but never a bank branch.

The current account was a HSBC white label job, ie. HSBC account with M&S written on top, and if I am not mistaken it’s popularity and NPS was down in the dumps, so not surprised M&S have axed the partnership.

HSBC probably already on the phone to Waitrose…

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There is one on the top floor of the M&S on the Birmingham High St

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Yes, I had one very close to where I work, within Marks and Spencer itself.

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M&S Bank has its own banking licence, so it is structurally separate from HSBCUK/FD.

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HSBC already have an agreement with John Lewis (Waitrose’s parent company) to operate John Lewis Finance. They are the bank behind the John Lewis Partnership credit card.

They may well look to expand John Lewis Finance in the future but I’m not sure John Lewis would really be up for it.

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Yes, they did have full branches (usually quite nice ones) at lots of stores. This was separate from the M&S “Bureau de Change” for Travel Money.

There is a full list of the stores with branches on their website - it’s quite a few!

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Wonder what it’ll do with that now, then…:thinking:

They are only closing current accounts, other banking services will continue AFAIK

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