Money Insider: An opportunity for M&S bank to make mark
Saturday 16 June 2012
Over the last few years the UK banking scene has become pretty stale with very little to choose between the products and services offered by the big names on our high street.
The sector has been crying out for some serious new competition to wake it from its slumber and give consumers a credible alternative and the chance to experience an improved banking experience.
We've already got Metro Bank slowly building a new following from scratch in the London area and Virgin Money is due to burst on to the current account scene sometime next year.
But the most exciting news which could lead to a dramatic shake up of the banking market came last week when it was announced that the retail giant Marks and Spencer is soon to offer bank accounts and mortgages through its new M&S Bank brand.
The trusted retailer has been a dominant force in high street retailing for much of its 128-year history and now has plans to offer customers a new style "modern banking environment".
The banks will have opening hours in line with the stores, which means customers will be able to access services seven days a week and, in some outlets, early evenings. There will also be telephone and internet banking to compliment the new branch network.
With the first branch due to be opened in its flagship store in Marble Arch in London next month, this could be the beginning of a shake-up in the banking world and at last give the existing players something to sit up and take notice of.
The timetable suggests there will eventually be fifty M&S banks opened in existing stores across the country, initially selling the current range of financial services products, to be followed by a new bank account at the end of summer and a mortgage range sometime later.
The existing M&S Money financial products are seldom out of the best buy tables, from its ever popular rewards credit card, already held by 3 million customers, its table topping personal loan, right through to the very competitive ISA and savings accounts.
Because the current no-nonsense product range offers such good value, there is much anticipation to see the nuts and bolts of the forthcoming current account.
How it will differ from that of its parent company HSBC and its multi-award-winning stable partner, First Direct, we'll have to wait and see, but it will be a big disappointment if yet another bland bank account offering is wheeled out with a complex and expensive charging structure that the public can't understand.
M&S Bank has a real opportunity to become a major force in UK retail financial services, the combination of the backing of the banking giant HSBC and an established and trusted high-street brand could see many of its already loyal shoppers switch their banking allegiance to the new kid in town.
M&S's chief executive, Marc Bolland, said: "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."
Getting people to transfer their account from one bank to another has always been a difficult task and hence the reason we often see the £100 sweeteners being offered.
I'm sure Bolland fully appreciates that just another shade of beige isn't going to deliver his business objectives; he knows that banking customers want and deserve a better banking relationship.
With so many people disillusioned with the poor service levels and below-average products from their current bank, the potential for M&S Bank is huge.
But it will only have a postive impact if it gets its offering right, and that means top-notch service as well as an appealing product range that continues to reward customer loyalty.
AndrewHagger — Moneynet.co.uk
Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
- 1 Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
- 4 Zayn Malik on Israel-Gaza: One Direction singer bombarded with Twitter death threats after posting #FreePalestine
- 5 'Hello mum, this is going to be hard for you to read ...'
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£600 - £700 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Investment Accounting Change...
£450 - £650 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...
£350 - £400 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Analyst, ALM Data, Halifax, ...
£500 - £600 per day: Orgtel: Java developer - Banking - London - Up to £600/d...
Day In a Page
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens
A seven-bedroom Grade II-listed property with a separate self-contained apartment
A five-bedroom Victorian house with three reception rooms and galleried landing, £695,000
A six-bedroom farmhouse with five acres of land in a former cloth-making village
A secluded seven-bedroom detached house with large private garden, £490,000
A three-bedroom cottage overlooking Sarratt village green with open fires and solid oak floors
A three-bedroom maisonette flat in a Grade I-listed, Georgian townhouse in a sought-after location
A one-bedroom apartment located within a private gated development, north of Turnham Green
Look forward to a brighter future at two-bedroom Sunny Cottages, ideal for Londoners looking to downsize
A three-bedroom red-brick cottage with outbuildings and pretty gardens, £200,000
This three-bedroom flat within a former textile factory spans the corner of the fourth floor and has a balcony
A charming four-bedroom Oxfordshire cottage with oak floors and chunky-beamed ceilings, £465,000
A beautiful one-bed flat in a sought-after portered block, with access to Norland Square communal gardens
A one-bedroom flat within a Sixties school conversion with high-spec design and open-plan kitchen, close to Lambeth North Tube, £435,000