Marks & Spencer unveil new innovative current account as bank account battle heats up
Retail giant Marks and Spencer may have become famous for their multinational retail and food service, but their new ëmass marketí current account offering may well send them soaring to stardom in the banking sector as well.
The M&S current account is the retailing giants first of this kind to have no monthly charge attached to it, and has garnered widespread acclaim from market analysts who have ëstruggled to find anything to dislike about ití.
The innovative account comes with a number of different components that make it highly desirable to someone who is looking for a new current account, and will be available for anyone over 18 from this summer onwards.
Its strongest merits include a highly attractive overdraft facility, a rewards scheme, and zero compulsory monthly contributions; small oversee fees and a £100 gift card to use in stores for all customers who switch to M&S from another bank provider.
Iím struggling to find anything about it to dislike," says Andrew Hagger of the MoneyComms website, who forecasted that Marks would begin to pose a serious challenge to the big banking institutions who have dominated the finance sector for years now.
Banking sector set for shakeup
If you believe that M&Sís new offering is not well suited to you, then there are a number of other new current accounts that are set to be unveiled this spring that are set to shake up the banking sector, and will challenge the supremacy of previous leaders such as RBS, Barclays, Santander and Lloyds.
First Direct also currently have their 1st Account on offer, which grants users a £500 overdraft as soon as they open their account, with a £250 interest free facility. The rate is also relatively competitive at 15.9% EAR, and is likely to challenge products that are on offer from bigger organisations at the moment.
Building society Nationwide have also attracted a lot of attention with their Flex Direct online and phone account that enables users to garner interest at an attractive 4.89% on balances as high as £2500. This remains fixed for the first year, then fall to 1%, though you will have to put £1,000 in each month in order to retain these benefits.
However, it is M&Sís imminent release that has attracted the highest level of praise and attention thus far, and interested parties will be boosted by the news that they will not have to pay a transaction charge when making withdrawals abroad, instead only paying a 2.75% foreign exchange fee.
The account also grants users an instant £500 overdraft, of which the initial £100 is interest-free. For overdrafts larger than £100, the interest rate has been set at 15.9% EAR. As with their other accounts, their new product has zero overdraft charge, and all users are sent free text alerts when they get near to exceeding their overdraft limit.
David Black of Consumer Intelligence praised M&Sís new account as "a good deal for those who regularly shop at M&S, and its competitive overdraft rate coupled with no insistence upon any minimum monthly funding requirement will also broaden its appeal"
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