London: Retail giant Marks & Spencer today said it will launch its first in-store banking branch in July under ‘M&S Bank’ brand.
The store plans to open 50 such branches in the next two years across the UK and expects to create 500 new jobs by end of 2013, it said in a statement.
“The first branch is scheduled to open in July at Marks & Spencer’s flagship Marble Arch Store,” it said. M&S Bank branches will be open twice as long as traditional high street banks; mirroring the store opening hours, it said, adding this would enable customers to bank while they shop, throughout the week, with the benefit of 24-hour online banking and access to UK-based call centers.
“A current account will be made available from autumn 2012 and customers can pre-register their interest in July, mortgages will be offered by the bank at a later date,” the company added.
Over 3 million customers already use M&S Money products, including credit cards, loans and savings. “With over 25 years financial services experience, M&S Bank is the natural next step for M&S Money and will provide customers with a credible, alternative choice in the banking sector,” Marks & Spencer Bank Chief Executive Colin Kersley said.
The retailer has joined hands with global bank HSBC for M&S Bank. “In addition to its strong retail heritage, M&S Bank has the support of one of the world’s most successful and financially strong banks — HSBC,” the statement added.
The store, which caters to 21 million customers, said 70 percent of its premium club customers found the idea of banking service appealing.
“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,” HSBC Head Joe Garner said.