High street retail giant Marks & Spencer (M&S) is to open its first bank at its flagship Marble Arch store in July, it has been announced today.
Measures have been put in place to roll out 50 branches within the next two years at its stores across the UK, with a current account facility available from the autumn.
Its store opening hours will work in conjunction with the new banking service, meaning the retailer will operate seven days a week and open twice as long as others on the high street, giving customers the opportunity to bank while they shop.
High street banking stalwart HSBC has agreed to support the new M&S banks, which hope to create 500 jobs.
Joe Garner, Head of HSBC in the UK, sees it as a natural transition for the company as it already has over three million customers currently using M&S money products such as savings and credit cards.
“This is our most significant innovation in retail banking since we launched First Direct over 22 years ago, “he said.
“It is concrete evidence of HSBC increasing innovation, competition and investment in the UK.”
Such initiatives as the ‘papple’, an apple that taste like a pear and the ‘Forever Fish’ campaign, which last month saw 6,000 volunteer staff cleaning up Britain’s beaches, have helped to further cement the brand’s dedication to innovation.
Marc Bolland, M&S CEO, commented: “M&S is one of the most trusted brands on the UK high street and we’ve achieved this by continually listening and responding to the needs of our 21 million customers.
“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.”