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Marks and Spencer to open a banking chain this summer

The first branch is scheduled to open in July at M&S's Marble Arch store.

The British high street retailer Marks and Spencer Group has unveiled plans to open a chain of banks this summer, with the support of HSBC Bank.

Over the next two years, the retailer will open 50 new M&S Bank branches in M&S stores across the UK. This is expected to create 500 new jobs by the end of 2013, including 400 customer-facing roles in branches across the country and around 100 roles at the company’s Chester-based head office.

The M&S Money brand, along with its existing product portfolio, will be rebranded to M&S Bank later this year.

Marc Bolland, chief executive at Marks & Spencer, said:

M&S is one of the most trusted brands on the UK high street and we’ve achieved this by continually listening and responding to the needs of our 21 million customers. This bank will be built on M&S values; putting the customer at the heart of the proposition and delivering the exceptional service that sets us apart from the competition.

Colin Kersley, chief executive of the new M&S Bank, added:

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.

Joe Garner, head of HSBC in the UK, said:

This is our most significant innovation in retail banking since we launched First Direct over 22 years ago. It is concrete evidence of HSBC increasing innovation, competition and investment in the UK.