Marks & Spencer is gearing up to launch a chain of bank branches which will include a mortgage offering.
The first M&S branch will open next month within the M&S flagship retail store in Marble Arch, London, with a further 50 branches planned over the next two years. All bank branches will be housed in existing stores and will be open on weekends.
The move is set to create 500 jobs, including 400 roles in stores and 100 roles at the firm’s headquarters in Chester.
M&S already operates a financial services arm under the trading name M&S Money, which is owned by HSBC. A current account will be made available from the autumn with mortgages offered at a later date.
M&S Bank chief executive Colin Kersley says: “We know loyal M&S customers will be genuinely excited by the prospect of banking with their favourite retailer. With over 25 years financial services experience, M&S Bank is the natural next step for M&S Money and will provide customers with a credible, alternative choice in the banking sector.”
M&S Money offers investments through HSBC’s cautious, balanced and dynamic world selection portfolios. It also offers savings accounts, general insurance, loans, travel money and credit cards.
News of M&S’s entry into the mortgage market comes ahead of the launch of a mortgage range from Tesco Bank which is expected in the coming months. The mortgage range has been delayed following technical glitches in moving its existing loan and savings products onto a new IT system.