Rumours of plans by retail heavyweight Marks and Spencer to launch an in-store banking service this summer, backed by HSBC, have been confirmed.
The retail chain is set to open 50 branches of the bank in its stores over the next 24 months, with the first due to open in firm's flagship store in Marble Arch, London, in July.
Mortgages will become available "at a later date", with the initial focus of the business being current accounts.
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The company's existing money business, known as M&S Money, was purchased by HSBC in late 2004 and is run an a joint venture; it currently has three million customers with deposits totalling £3.2bn. The bank's profits will be shared between HSBC and M&S equally.
By comparison, Tesco Bank has 6.5m customers and Sainsbury's Bank has 1.4m customers.
Colin Kersley, who is the Chief Executive of the new M&S Bank, described the move as "an evolution into current accounts and banking".
He added that mortgage would only be introduced once the current accounts and banking were running smoothly.
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