Last day of M&S Bank branches: All 29 shut down today and current accounts will close at the end of August – here’s four banks you could pick next…
- Marks & Spencer is shutting down all its 29 bank branches today
- M&S Bank will also close down all its current accounts on 31 August
- Customers will need to have switched to a new bank by then
Marks & Spencer is shutting all 29 of its bank branches today, with the closure of all its current accounts to follow on the 31 August.
That means that between now and the end of August, M&S Bank – whose branches are all located inside its stores – will be an internet and telephone-only bank for its customers.
It means today is the last day elderly and vulnerable customers can visit in person to close accounts.
The bank, half-owned by the supermarket and HSBC, first unveiled the closures in March, when it said it would focus on credit cards, digital payments instead and currency services.
Closing down for good: Marks & Spencer is shutting down all its 29 bank branches today
M&S has already taken the current account off-sale for new applicants, while existing customers will have to switched bank by the end of August, M&S said today.
Customers can close their current accounts via the M&S website, but they will need to have a balance of zero to do so.
That means that any money deposited on the account will need to be moved to another bank before closing the account.
Likewise, if a customer is in overdraft, they will have to clear that first before closing the account.
If by the 31 August there are still funds or debts in the account, they will be frozen and customers will need to contact M&S to transfer the balance elsewhere.
They are part of a growing trend on the high street, with banks saying it is down to of a surge in online banking.
In reality for M&S, the move is more likely to be down to the current account business not making it much money.
In contrast, it is a strong player in the the credit card, personal loan and travel money sectors, where it is likely to focus on more heavily.
M&S still has travel money bureaux branches located in 100 stores.
Banks have recently stepped up branch closures after many paused restructuring for much of last year to focus on responding to the pandemic.
Last month, Lloyds Banking Group announced it was shutting 44 more bank branches across England and Wales this year.
Back in March, M&S bank chief executive Paul Spencer, said: ‘As we adapt to meet the changing needs of our customers, and we deliver some new – more digitally-focused products and services – it does regrettably mean we will move away from branch-based servicing and the 29-in-store bank branches and associated current account will close this summer.’
Customers may want to request copies of statements before 31 August and make a list of any recurring payments, such as direct debits, to minimise disruption.
This is Money’s pick of the four best current accounts
1. Best account for in-credit interest: Nationwide Building Society’s FlexDirect account – 2% interest on balances of up to £1,500.
2. Best account for cash: HSBC – it is paying £125 for people to switch to its Advance account, including M&S Bank customer who would have been exempt before.
3. Best account for interest on a large balance: Club Lloyds – 0.6% interest on balances of up to £3,999; 1.5% interest on balances between £4,000 and £5,000.
4. Best ‘new kid on the block’: Starling Bank – its current account can be downloaded through a smartphone app and can now also be managed online, and pays 0.05% interest on up to £85,000