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Marks & Spencer to open bank in Shoreham
3:18pm Wednesday 26th September 2012 in News
Marks & Spencer today announced plans to open a bank in its Shoreham shop, one of 28 in-store branches due to open by the end of the year.
The retail giant, which has so far opened 13 bank branches out of 16 locations which have already been confirmed, unveiled a further list of 12 branches planned by the end of 2012, including Shoreham.
Meanwhile, customers can apply for M&S premium current accounts from today, which carry fees of up to GBP240 a year in return for "transparent" terms and a range of in-store perks.
The retailer opened its first bank branch in July, offering seven days a week banking facilities and a pager service meaning customers can carry on with their shopping instead of queuing.
The launch of a new player in the market came as mainstream banks have been battling to win back confidence in the wake of incidents such as NatWest's IT chaos and Barclays' Libor-fixing scandal.
M&S has previously confirmed that it intends to open a total of 50 bank branches by the end of 2013, with opening hours mirroring the shops in which they are sited.
Customers have been able to pre-register for the new M&S current accounts since July.
A spokeswoman for M&S Bank declined to give any figures for the level of interest during pre-registration, but said the accounts have been "well-received".
For GBP20 a month, the premium current account with insurance promises customers more than GBP500-worth of annual benefits such as M&S vouchers, travel insurance and loyalty points on debit card purchases. Customers will also be given access to a savings account with a fixed rate of 6%.
The M&S premium account without insurance costs GBP15 a month and comes with similar banking and rewards and the potential to gain more than GBP300-worth of annual benefits.
M&S Bank is wholly owned by HSBC but runs on a 50/50 profit share with Marks & Spencer. Legally, the new bank is structured as a separate entity to HSBC, meaning it has its own registration with the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), which compensates people if their bank goes under.
The move has been hailed as positive for mainstream consumers, and analysts have predicted M&S Bank is likely to target its products at "vanilla" customers, who already have strong credit records.
They have said that as with any paid-for service, customers should consider how much they will benefit from the perks included in the current accounts.
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