Marks & Spencer launching in-store bank branches

You’ll soon be able to get more than just down at your local Marks & Spencer, as the retailer is planning to launch its own in-store banking branches by July.

While other retailers such as Sainsbury’s and Tesco have been offering banking services for some time, Marks & Spencer looks poised to capture more market share as the first of twenty branches is preparing to go live in its flagship Marble Arch location. The retail branch is believed to be an extension of M&S Money, the existing financial arm for Marks & Spencer that offers savings accounts and credit cards to customers and is owned and operated by HSBC.

While both HSBC and M&S declined to comment when approached by members of the press regarding their plans for the future, the rumours have been swirling since the report in Retail Week highlighting the new branches that should be appearing in Marks & Spencer shops in July. M&S banks will most likely be open seven days a week, as branch opening hours will coincide with shop hours, Retail Week speculated.

Providing financial services is actually nothing new to Marks & Spencer, as the retailer began offering their M&S Chargecard in 1985. Consumers could then seek personal loans from M&S starting in 1989, followed by the first ISA from Marks & Spencer ten years later.

Over the course of the next few years, M&S Money added pet, travel, and home insurance, launched a credit card and a loyalty scheme, and was eventually sold off to HSBC, with the retail bank sharing 50 per cent of the profits for operating M&S Money for Marks & Spencer. Under HSBC leadership, the retailer has grown to offer investment portfolios, savings accounts, and car insurance as well.

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