Left to right: Jonathan Glenister, Head of Retail Operation M&S, Sue Fox, CEO of M&S Bank, Jos Robson, Head of Network and Bureaux M&S Bank
While the first M&S current account launched just a little under three years ago, it might surprise you to know that this month is actually the 30th year of Marks & Spencer Financial Services. To mark this, M&S Bank has just launched its first self-service branch, M&S Bank’s 30th branch, which will be located at M&S Merchant Square, Paddington.
As a bank we work hard to deliver what we call new fashioned banking, this is a fairly new term, and something that’s uniquely M&S, but the concept of bringing the M&S brand values to banking has been at the heart of the business for the past 30 years.
M&S Bank is regularly described as a challenger brand, and as a new current account provider, we’re delighted to be challenging the status quo. But given our long history in financial services, I wanted to explain a little more about New Fashioned Banking and what it means to us as a bank, and our customers, today.
During our three decades in financial services, we’ve innovated the way people manage their personal finances. M&S was the first retailer to offer personal loans and investment products on the high street, it was also one of the first retailers to introduce loyalty points on credit card spending.
Just after M&S launched men’s suits, and formal separates, and won the Queen’s Award for Innovation, we launched the M&S Chargecard, in 1985, with 270,000 applications in the first three weeks alone. Since then, we have evolved our card offering and have celebrated over ten years of the M&S Credit Card, rewarding customers with over £400m in M&S vouchers.
Our products and services have been developed specifically to meet the needs of the M&S customer; it’s about delivering the same service, quality and trust that our customers have come to know and expect from Marks & Spencer.
This attention to customer service naturally includes the convenience our customers' experience from the iconic retail brand. So, for many years we have been able to offer our customers the largest range of travel money currencies available on demand on the high street. Quite uniquely, we also enable M&S Credit Card customers to purchase their travel money on their M&S Credit Card, just like they would any other M&S retail purchase, with no cash advance fee.
This innovation, customer convenience, and M&S-standard service, continues today; we now offer the longest branch opening hours of any high street bank, meaning our customers can visit an in-store M&S Bank branch, while they shop, at a time that suits them - that’s new fashioned banking.
When it came to launching the M&S Current Account, we were the first retailer bank to offer reward points on debit card spending. We designed a current account specifically for the M&S shopper, something that not only rewards our customers, but also offers a transparent account structure with no additional fees, along with access to a high interest regular savings rate.
New fashioned banking is about doing things differently; doing things the M&S way and putting the customer at the heart of everything we do. We constantly look at what M&S customers want from their bank, and while we’ve only fairly recently brought this to the current account market, the essence of new fashioned banking is something we’re proud to have been delivering for many years.
We’re delighted that new fashioned banking has also been acknowledged externally, last year M&S Bank was shortlisted for the Which? Awards in the best banking brand category. Already this year, M&S Bank has been named Best New Current Account Provider in the Moneynet awards, and the M&S Current Account has also been awarded a five-star rating from Defaqto and Which? Recommended Provider Status.
Just as you would expect innovation from Marks & Spencer when it comes to food, fashion or general merchandise, you can also expect this when it comes to M&S Bank, and that’s new fashioned banking. Quite simply, it’s about bringing the M&Sness to banking.
If you would like to receive an email alert when we post our latest blogs, click here