High street retailer M&S is due to close its in-store bank branches from today, Friday 2nd of July, with their current accounts also shutting down on the 31st of August. .
The closure of in-store branches follows the growing trend of high street bank customers servicing their accounts online or by telephone. Similarly, the closure of the M&S Current Accounts comes as the bank refocuses on products and services, with new payment solutions on the way.
James Andrews, senior personal finance editor at money.co.uk said: “The closure of the in-store branches might not be a big deal to customers who already manage their accounts online, but those used to in person services and unwilling or unable to use remote banking could miss out.
“However, everyone with an M&S current account needs to act fast and make sure they either switch or close their account before the 31st of August 2021.
“After this date, your account will be closed completely and you won’t be able to access your money or make any debit or credit transactions.
“If you want to close your account, there are certain things to keep in mind. First of all, your account can only be closed with a zero balance, so if your account is overdrawn or in credit, you must deposit or transfer money to get to £0.
“If you’re closing with an overdraft, or transferring that debt to a new account, it’s crucial that you choose a provider with an equal or greater overdraft capacity, otherwise you risk high charges or penalties being applied to your account.
“When the account closes, direct debits and standing orders will also automatically be terminated, so you need to make sure you’re on top of your payments before that happens.
“Make a list of all regular payments, and make sure to note down the details of the payee – this means as soon as you open a new account, you can set the payment up again without interruption.
“After the 31st of August, your online statement history will no longer be available, so it might be an idea to print off your recent statements (or download them as PDFs and save them).
“If you’re in the process of applying for a mortgage or a finance scheme, you’ll need to supply recent bank statements, so make sure you have the documents you need saved, in order to avoid a potential delay.
“If you aren’t able to do this yourself, you can request M&S Bank to email you a copy of your transaction history free of charge. However, if this is done after your account is closed you will need to supply relevant identification.
“As with any transition to an online only service, the closure of M&S’ in-store bank branches may cause issues for some customers, with vulnerable and older customers potentially struggling with the change.
“To find out more about the impact of a cashless society, and to compare how other countries measure up to the UK, visit https://www.money.co.uk/credit-cards/cashless-countries”