M&S Bank to shut all current accounts and in-store branches

Customers will have to look for new bank as focus turns to credit cards and other services

Marks & Spencer’s banking arm is shutting down its current accounts, forcing customers who hold them to look for a new provider.

M&S Bank – which is a joint venture between HSBC and the retailer – says all of its current accounts will close in August, along with its Monthly Saver account. In addition, the 29 in-store M&S Bank branches will close in early July.

M&S Bank launched its first mainstream current accounts in 2014, and as recently as January 2020 it was offering a £100 giftcard to try to tempt new customers. However, now the bank says it wants to concentrate on its credit cards and other services.

The bank has between 3 million and 4 million customers, and will not say how many hold current accounts, although it is understood that it is less than 10% of the total. However, that could still mean the number of current account holders runs into six figures.

The current accounts will remain open until August and can continue to be used as normal until then. The bank says it will be back in touch in May with more information. There will be two options: use the switching service to move to another bank or building society, or close the account.

If a customer does not do anything, their account will be frozen in August and they will not be able to access their funds, so they would need to get in touch to confirm how they want to proceed.

An account can only be closed with a zero balance, so anyone who is overdrawn will need to clear the overdraft first or transfer it to their new bank account.

When an account is closed, direct debits and standing orders will be automatically cancelled.

The easiest way of moving to another bank is to switch using the Current Account Switch Service. This ensures that all direct debits and standing orders and incoming payments such as salary are moved over to the new account. You can typically switch your current account even if you are overdrawn, though you will need to agree any overdraft facilities you require with your new bank.

M&S Bank says: “If you are unable to find another bank or building society willing to transfer your overdraft, or you think you’ll have difficulty clearing the overdraft, please get in touch with us on 0345 900 0900 to discuss your options.

“If you hold an M&S current account, we’re very sorry about the inconvenience, and we commit to helping you transition your account to minimise any disruption.”

The easiest way of moving to another bank is to switch using the Current Account Switch Service. This ensures that all direct debits and standing orders, and incoming payments such as salary are moved over to the new account. You can typically switch your current account even if you are overdrawn, although you will need to agree any overdraft facilities you require with your new bank.

Contributor

Rupert Jones

The GuardianTramp

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