M&S Bank to Close All Current Accounts in August
M&S Bank will shutter its current accounts and regular saver and close in-store branches this summer, as it pivots to focus on credit cards and other financial services.
All current accounts with M&S Bank, including premium accounts, will shut, as will Monthly Saver accounts linked to current accounts. Customers can continue to use their current accounts as normal until they’re shut at a yet-unspecified date in August.
The changes only impact current account customers and those with the linked regular saver. M&S Bank Credit cards, loans, savings accounts other than the linked Monthly Saver and standalone insurance products will be unaffected.
M&S will also mothball its all 29 in-store bank branches, following a trend which has closed two in five bank locations in the last six years. M&S's 100 in-store travel bureaux will remain open and continue providing travel money services.
M&S Bank said it will contact its current account holders in May with more information. Customers will have two options: to use the switching service to move to a current account with another bank or building society or close the account.
Closing the account will automatically cancel any direct debits and standing orders. You also won’t be able to access your online statements after the account closes but you’ll be emailed your transaction history going back five years.
Accounts can only be closed with a zero balance, so you’ll need to withdraw any balance or clear the overdraft. Alternatively, you can transfer the overdraft to your new current account provider, if they allow you to.
If you don’t do anything, your account will be frozen in August and you will need to contact M&S to access the funds.
M&S Bank said: “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.”
M&S has said that customers with Premium Current Accounts shouldn’t close the account or switch away until April, when M&S stores are allowed to fully reopen if they want to take advantage of the perks that come with the account, including hot drink vouchers worth up to £132 a year and vouchers worth £40 a year to spend on clothing and homeware.
M&S food halls are open, including in larger stores, but under coronavirus restrictions its clothing and homeware departments and in-store cafes are closed.
M&S said it is still finalising how to give premium customers access to those benefits when the accounts permanently close and will be in touch with more information next month.
Travel insurance cover bundled with premium current accounts will lapse when the account closes. M&S said it is considering how to continue to supply this cover without requiring customers to take out a new, stand-alone insurance policy.
The bank, a joint venture between the retailer and HSBC, has between three and four million customers. It hasn’t specified how many of these customers have current accounts but it’s thought to be less than 10% of the total. However, the closure will potentially impact hundreds of thousands of customers.
M&S Bank launched its current account range in 2014, taking on the high street banks. As recently as January 2020, it was offering £100 gift cards to customers who sign up.
Its Monthly Saver once paid a generous 6% interest on balances of up to £3,000, requiring monthly deposits of between £25 and £250 for a year. That rate was cut to 5% and then slashed to 2.75% in November 2019.