UK fashion retailer Marks & Spencer has opened its first self-service branch at the company’s head office in central London to mark the company’s 30th anniversary of providing customers a range of financial services including checking accounts and other banking and payment products.
According to Marks & Spencer, customers wishing to use the new flagship branch will have access to an ATM and telephone and internet banking facilities as well as account representatives to help customers with current account issues and help complete new account applications. Commenting on the new branch, Sue Fox, CEO of M&S Bank said,
“We already have a network of 29 full-service bank branches located in M&S stores, which offer our customers the convenience of being able to bank while they shop at a time that suits them, including late evenings and weekends. We’re continually looking at ways to increase customer convenience and the launch of our first self-service branch, and new meeting pods, will complement our existing in-store presence.”
In addition to the flagship branch, Marks & Spencer has announced that it hopes to leverage its national network of retail outlets as bank branches by creating new in-store ‘meeting pods’ where customers can have private conversations with a customer representative in stores where a traditional branch is not available.
The UK retail banking landscape is experiencing an unprecedented level of competition from a range of players including alternative financial service providers like Marks & Spencer. With this new flagship branch and plans to increase their branch presence through meeting pods, there is no reason Marks & Spencer cannot expand on the 3.7 million customers it has today.
Overview by Tristan Hugo-Webb, Associate Director, Global Payments Advisory Service at
Mercator Advisory Group
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