What to do if you have a Marks & Spencer Bank current or savings account.
In August, all existing current accounts at M&S Bank will close, and the linked monthly savings account will also shut. The accounts are already closed to new customers.
All 29 in-store branches will also close at the start of July, though the bank will carry on providing credit cards, loans, insurance and other savings accounts.
The retailer says it’s “evolving” to reflect the way customers use their bank, with the branch closures a reflection of the move to online banking.
So if you’re an M&S Bank customer, what do you need to do?
Your current account
If you do nothing, the account will be frozen in August and you’ll have to contact the bank in order to access any money left in there. So it’s important you either withdraw your money and close the account or switch your account. I favour the latter.
Switching your M&S Bank account
It’s really easy to to do this via the Current Account Switch Service (CASS), and comes with a guarantee that all payments in and out will be moved to your new account. Plus, if you switch you’ll also be able to nab a freebie from a different bank keen to get your business.
If you’re overdrawn there’s no guarantee a new bank will also offer you an overdraft, so it might be worth looking at options to clear that if it’s a worry.
Switching takes seven working days, so there’s no rush to move. You’ve got time to wait and see what switching offers come along, but there are some you can get if you want to switch right away.
HSBC Advance Account: Free £125
You’ll only be able to switch to this account for the bonus if you opened your M&S Bank account prior to 1st January 2018.
If you are eligible you’ll need to transfer over two direct debits or two standing orders. The latter are really easy to set up. You’ll get the payment within 20 days of the switch completing.
First Direct: Free £100
As with the HSBC switch, you’ll need to have opened the M&S account before 1st Jan 2018. You need to pay in £1,000 within three months, and the money will be paid within 28 days of this happening.
This is a good option if you want to keep the £250 0% overdraft buffer, and First Direct is the only other bank to offer it.
Virgin Money: Free wine & charity donation
This account from Virgin Money will give you 12 bottles of Virgin Wine and a £50 charity donation via Virgin Giving.
You need to transfer or set up two direct debits and put £1,000 into the linked easy-access saver and keep both active until you’ve got your free wine.
More on these and other bank rewards and offers in my ultimate bank account guide.
Closing your M&S Bank account
You can do this by contacting M&S Bank, though you’ll need to have a zero balance first. If you don’t do this it’ll automatically be closed in August.
You will still be able to see the balance online or via the app after this date – but to access any cash left in there you’ll need to contact the bank.
You won’t be able to access old statements once the account is closed, so it’s worth downloading these.
Your monthly saver
On hearing the news I’m sure a lot of customers will be frustrated about this linked regular saver closing – it will have been the reason for lots of people to open the account in the first place.
Though the most recently opened monthly savers were only paying 1%, many will still be part way through a year set at 2.75%.
The good news is you’ll get the interest for the full year, no matter how long left you have to save. The bank will assume you’ve paid in the maximum £250 a month and add interest accordingly.
If you want to get the best rate for your savings once you withdraw it from the monthly saver, or find a new regular saver, here’s my updated list of the top paying accounts.