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When is a bank not a bank..?

Friday 28th September, 2012

Where bankers are failing, others are moving in. M&S have announced the launch of a new current account and promise 12 in-store branches by the end of the year - including Oxford and Norwich. M&S are pitching themselves as a credible alternative for UK banking services leveraging the trust in its brand to muscle in on a sector beset with scandal, an inexplicable bonus structure and an overall lack of trust.

Branches are open seven days a week with the same hours as the stores that they are housed in - far longer than most high street rivals. In addition, a new pager service has been introduced so customers can continue to shop or visit the M&S café, rather than wait for an appointment.Current account customers also have access to 24x7 UK call centres and online banking - complete with a virtual assistant named Hanna.

Colin Kersley, CEO, M&S Bank, says: "We understand that our customers want to bank at a time that suits them and our branches are open the same hours as M&S stores, including weekends. We've been opening branches across the UK over the summer and it's been great to see such a high level of interest."

Other retailers, including Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury's as well as other financial technology and e-invoicing providers have also been flexing their corporate muscle to take advantage of public dissatisfaction with traditional banks.