Source: Marks and Spencer
M&S Bank opens its first branch today (Thursday 19th July) at M&S's flagship Marble Arch store.
Fifty M&S Bank branches will open by the end of 2013, with 16 opening by the end of the summer.
Like all M&S Bank branches, the Marble Arch branch will be open the same hours as the store; 8am until 9pm Monday to Saturday and from12-6pm on Sundays.
Colin Kersley, Chief Executive of M&S Bank, said: "Our branches have been designed around the needs of our customers, offering them the style of banking they want; available at times that suit their busy lifestyles. I am delighted to open the first of those branches and look forward to welcoming our customers here today."
Louise Evans, the first M&S Bank Manager, based at Marble Arch, commented: "My team and I will always be on hand to give our customers the warm welcome and great service they expect from M&S; whether customers want to discuss their finances or simply get up and running on online banking."
Customer services and facilities
The branch will offer customers a brand new pager service - meaning they will not have to queue and wait for an advisor to become available. If a customer wants an appointment, they'll be given a pager and alerted as soon as an advisor is free, so they can continue to shop or visit the M&S Café. Pagers will also be available to accompanying friends or family so they can carry on shopping, whilst their companion completes their appointment.
The branch has been designed to offer customers a convenient and secure banking environment, supported by a dedicated M&S Bank team and Bank Manager.
Customer appointments will take place in one of three private meeting rooms with facilities to enable customers to manage large cash transactions securely. A dedicated member of the team will also manage an assisted self-service area, including a cash machine, paying-in machine and a cheque deposit machine.
To ensure peace of mind, customers paying in cheques will receive a photocopy of their cheque as well as a receipt. An etched screen surrounds each machine, with a helpful sul shelf for mobile phones and a handbag hook is located at the side - offering customers privacy and convenience.
The new branches will include free internet and telephone banking facilities. Customer research revealed that many M&S Money customers would like to use internet banking services but are not sure how it works, so a member of the M&S Bank team will be on hand to give customers one-to-one assistance.
The M&S Bank lounge
The M&S Bank lounge has a relaxed, modern feel - with unique M&S features. These include chic M&S Larson chairs in a custom M&S Bank fuchsia colour and fresh M&S flowers in Conran designed vases. Members of the M&S Bank team will also have stylish uniforms, featuring the signature fuchsia colour.
The existing M&S Bureau de Change has been re-designed to integrate seamlessly with the bank. Customers will be able to enjoy the same service they've always experienced in the M&S Bureau with some additional extras, including an LCD screen which will show M&S Bank TV for customers to watch while in the bureau.
Current account customers can also bank online and over the phone with 24x7 UK call centres.