M&S Bank has announced that it will close all customer current accounts and linked monthly savings accounts in August.
M&S Bank, the trading name for Marks & Spencer Financial Services, will also close all 29 of its in-store branches this summer. The bank said, however, that only a small percentage of its three million banking customers would be affected by the current account closures.
“If you hold an M&S current account, we’re very sorry about the inconvenience, and we commit to helping you transition your account to minimise any disruption,” the bank said.
The bank will now focus on credit cards
The Chester-headquartered bank plans to focus on credit cards and other services.
M&S Bank entered the credit card market in 2003 and offers various MasterCard-branded cards. Cards feature an ‘M&S Points’ loyalty scheme which rewards spending with Marks and Spencer vouchers and offers.
An additional ‘Premium Club’ service also allows customers to gain additional rewards, offers and free in-store hot drinks in return for a monthly membership fee.
M&S Bank was originally formed as the financial services division of the retailer Marks & Spencer in 1985 and adopted its current name in 2012.
Initially focused on providing credit through in-house store cards, the bank now provides a range of products to personal customers including credit cards, loans, savings, insurance, and foreign currency exchange.
M&S Bank is operated as a joint-venture with HSBC and has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of the latter since its sale in November 2004. The bank retains its own banking licence and board.
Available options for customers
The easiest way of moving to another bank is to switch using the Current Account Switch Service. This ensures that all direct debits and standing orders and incoming payments such as salary are moved over to the new account.
You can typically switch your current account even if you are overdrawn, though you will need to agree any overdraft facilities you require with your new bank.
M&S Bank said it would keep the current accounts open until August. And customers can continue to use them as normal until then.
The bank also said it would be back in touch in May with more information. Customers will have two options: use the switching service to move to another bank or close the account.