HSBC and first direct are currently offering switching deals for new customers and recently, Martin Lewis urged savers to look into them as M&S Bank are set to close their current accounts. As Martin detailed in mid-March: “M&S Bank is to close up to 300,000 people’s current accounts.
“You’ll need to switch away by August. If you’re overdrawn you’ll need to clear it .”
In light of this, Martin urged consumers to look out for current account switching incentives which are available right now.
He continued: “So look, there are free cash deals for switching bank accounts on right now but we don’t know if they’ll be on in July or August so you may as well ditch and switch at the moment.
“The most similar to M&S is first direct – gives a free £100 to switchers, £250 zero percent overdraft as M&S had, and it comes near the top in all the customer service ratings. It is a sister bank to M&S, so to count as new, you’d have had to have opened the M&S account before January 1, 2018.”
Martin also highlighted HSBC is offering new customers £125 cash payments should they switch to the HSBC Advance current account, barring certain eligibility criteria.
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“As we adapt to meet the changing needs of our customers, and we deliver some new – more digitally-focused products and services – it does regrettably mean we will move away from branch-based servicing and the 29-in-store bank branches and associated current account will close this summer.
“We’re now firmly focused on supporting both our customers and colleagues through this change, and the delivery of our transformation plans, which will create new and rewarding payment solutions for M&S shoppers, both in-store and online.”
However, following this announcement, HSBC UK and first direct have confirmed today their switching offers are being extended to all M&S Current Account customers, who will now be eligible to benefit from the offer available at the time of switching.
These changes will apply from March 4 and as such, they’ll be applied retrospectively for anyone that started their switch from this date onwards.
M&S Bank is not the only firm to reduce services recently, with Santander also revealing plans today to close 111 branches in 2021.
Santander announced the plans in response to ongoing shifts among customers towards mobile and online banking, a trend that has been accelerated by coronavirus.
Adam Bishop, Santander’s Head of Branches, commented on this: “Branch usage by customers has fallen considerably over recent years so we have made the difficult decision to consolidate our presence in areas where we have multiple branches relatively close together.
“The majority of the closing branches are within three miles of another branch and the furthest is five miles away.
“We will provide every support to customers of closing branches to find alternative ways to bank with us that best suit their individual needs.
“We are also working alongside our unions to support colleagues through these changes and to find alternative roles for those impacted wherever possible.
“We continue to believe that branches have an important role to play and we expect the size of our network to remain stable for the foreseeable future.
“We are committed to supporting our customers and responding to changes in the way customers want to access services.”
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