Marks & Spencer to launch M&S Bank
Marks & Spencer is set to launch new banking offer M&S Bank, with a dedicated in-store space which it has designed alongside The Chase.
M&S Bank is set to be rolled out over 50 stores, with the first branch set to open in July at M&S’ flagship Marble Arch store.
HSBC wholly owns M&S finance brand M&S Money, and operates a 50/50 profit sharing agreement with the retailer.
M&S has a financial service history going back to 1985, when it launched St Michael Financial Services, the forebear of M&S Money, which was acquired by HSBC in 2004.
The M&S and HSBC in-house design teams have worked alongside consultancy The Chase on both the brand and interior concept.
According to M&S customer propositions and distribution director Crawford Prentice the interior has been developed through a customer engagement process which he says asked, ‘What would an M&S Bank look and feel like? What elements would you want as a customer?’
‘Privacy was particularly high consideration’ and has informed the concept which will ‘feel relaxed’ and although ‘not alien to customers it will also feel like an area where they can expect financial advice,’ he says.
In a statement the retailer said the M&S Bank offer is being positioned in line with M&S opening hours as a seven-day service so customers can ‘bank while they shop.’
Private meeting areas, self-service banking points and a bureau de change will feature in a space designed to be ‘a relaxed modern banking environment for customers, with personal touches such as M&S furniture and fresh flowers,’ says M&S.
Over 3 million people already use M&S Money products, according to the retailer, which already provides credit cards, loans and savings services.
Marc Bolland, chief executive at Marks & Spencer says ‘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.’