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M&S Bank current account closures: Where to head next

Countless customers of M&S Bank will be looking for a new current account in August after the grocery store bank said it was closing its banking services to concentrate on charge card and digital payments.

The bank, half-owned by the supermarket and HSBC, stated a little percentage of its 3million consumers will be impacted by the modification, which has actually come out of the blue to account holders.

It has already taken the current account off-sale for new candidates and will close all of its accounts in August.

M&S Bank is closing 29 in-store branches and its bank account in the summer

The bank will likewise close its 29 in-store branches in July, implying it will be an internet and telephone-only bank for its customers for the last month it functions.

M&S Bank has formerly included in This is Money’s guide to the best checking account since of its generous ₤ 250 fee-free overdraft and generous register benefits, with numerous pounds available to beginners in the kind of supermarket coupons.

But the closure of its branches and current account is yet another blow to the idea of the supermarket challenger bank. It formerly took out of the mortgage market in 2020 without any plans to re-enter it after the pandemic, with fellow grocery stores Tesco and Sainsbury’s also scaling back their banking offerings.

Tesco Bank closed its current account to newbies in 2015, although it remains to be seen if this is a long-term move, and slashed the interest paid on balances to no last September.

Like Sainsbury’s Bank, M&S seems to instead be focusing on credit card, loan and travel cash offerings, along with other digital credit products.

‘ We have established the next phase of our transformation programme to boost the M&S shopping experience, with a broadened series of payment solutions, which are increasingly incorporated with M&S– both in-store and online – using consumers a more smooth shopping and payment experience’, M&S Bank president Paul Spencer.

Tesco Bank has downsized its banking offering and has actually stopped offering bank accounts since last year

Andrew Hagger, creator of personal finance website Moneycomms, said: ‘It sounds as if the venture into the current account market hasn’t proved as effective or cost efficient as hoped, which has actually undoubtedly not been assisted by the pandemic with 29 in-store branches seeing very little tramp in the last 12 months.

‘M & S has actually always been a strong player in the credit card, personal loan and travel money sectors and it seems that it will continue to concentrate on these locations.’

The bank’s customers will have till August to close and move their account in other places, but with a variety of changing benefits readily available, those shocked by the abrupt news must act simply as quickly.

Like Sainsbury’s Bank M&S Bank appears to be focusing more on charge card, loans and travel cash

HSBC and its spin-off First Direct both currently use three-figure welcome bonus offers to beginners, supplied their M&S Bank bank account was opened prior to January 2018

HSBC pays ₤ 125 to those who open its Advance account, pay in ₤ 1,750 a month or ₤ 10,500 over six months and change through the main service with 2 direct debits or standing orders.

First Direct on the other hand uses ₤ 100 to those who switch and pay in ₤ 1,000 within 3 months. For M&S Bank clients used to its generous ₤ 250 fee-free overdraft, First Direct’s account may be specifically appealing because it provides the very same thing, Andrew Hagger added.

M&S Bank owner HSBC is using a three-figure switching bonus offer to beginners and M&S customers can still benefit if they opened an account before January 2018.

Nevertheless, any borrowing beyond that, or beyond ₤ 25 through the Advance account, is charged at a rate of 39.9 percent APR

. And for those who opened an M&S Savings account more just recently than 2018, Virgin Cash uses a sign-up bonus offer of 12 bottles of white wine ‘worth’ ₤ 138 to those who change.

Meanwhile those looking for interest on their current account balance may be better off with Nationwide Structure Society, Lloyds Bank or Santander.

Nationwide pays 2 per cent interest for the first year on as much as ₤ 1,500 kept in its FlexDirect account and comes with a fee-free overdraft for the same period, provided consumers pay in ₤ 1,000 in a month.

Lloyds Bank pays a ‘mixed’ rate of around 0.6 percent of balances of as much as ₤ 4,000 and an additional 1.5 percent on an extra ₤ 1,000 through its Club Lloyds account, but charges a ₤ 3 month-to-month cost unless clients deposit ₤ 1,500 a month.

It likewise has a lower overdraft rate of 27.5 per cent APR

. And Santander from April will pay 0.3 per cent interest on balances of as much as ₤ 20,000 kept in its 123 account. However, it charges a ₤ 4 monthly fee, which means somebody with a balance of ₤ 20,000 will receive just ₤ 12 in interest a year after that is considered.

But it does provide to 3 per cent cashback on household expenses.

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