Marks & Spencer (M&S) has announced it will be launching a high street banking operation in the summer.
The popular retailer has said that it will launch 50 branches, backed by HSBC, with the first one in its flagship Marble Arch store.
The new venture, which will have meeting rooms and more informal seating than traditional counters, will employ 500 people by the end of 2013.
There is currently confirmation whether the current accounts will be free or carry a monthly fee, however Colin Kersley, Chief Executive of the new bank, said: “This is an evolution into current accounts and banking.”
Kersley continued: “We know loyal M&S customers will be genuinely excited by the prospect of banking with their favourite retailer.”
“With over 25 years financial services experience, M&S Bank is the natural next step for M&S Money and will provide customers with a credible, alternative choice in the banking sector.”
M&S have said that the opening hours of the new bank will mirror their stores and include Sundays; online and telephone banking will also be available.
M&S moved into financial services in 1985 with the launch of M&S Money, which offered loans, credit cards and savings accounts to its three million customers. The savings accounts were extremely popular with over £3 billion of savers money deposited into them.
HSBC bought M&S Money in 2004 and the latest announcement will see M&S offering current accounts as well as mortgages later in the year.
This will help savers who are increasingly looking for a wider range of options to ensure that their savings are fully protected.