Martin Lewis reveals top bank accounts to switch to
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Existing customers of the high street bank are being warned that their current accounts are due to be closed by August 31. They will have to ensure that they switch their current account by this date and make sure any money is moved over. The reminder comes after the bank closed 29 of its M&S store banks on July 2because of a surge in demand for online banking. However, the company reassured its customers that its 100 travel money bureaus will stay open and customers will still have access to its other financial products.
What should I do if I’m affected by M&S Bank closures?
If you have no money in your M&S Bank account – there’s no need to do anything as it will be closed for you automatically on 31 August.
However, if you do have money in your account, you’ll need to withdraw it before this date or move it to another account by switching.
Overdraft users will need to clear the balance by this date or get in touch with the bank if they are struggling to do so.
Anyone who is struggling to pay their overdraft should contact M&S on 0345 900 0900.
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Paul Spencer, CEO, M&S Bank, said the decision was made to meet the changing needs of its customers as more and more people bank online.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
It leaves less than two weeks for existing M&S Bank customers to tie up any loose ends.
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James Andrews, a senior personal finance editor at money.co.uk has provided guidance to affected consumers, highlighting that it is the older generation who prefer to go into a bank, who will unfortunately miss out.
He lays out three simple steps for anyone affected by these closures:
- Anyone with an M&S current account needs to switch or close their account before 31 August 2021.
- Choose a new provider with an equal or greater overdraft capacity, otherwise you risk high charges or penalties.
- Make sure you make a list and change any direct debits and standing orders to your new account as these will automatically be terminated.
“After the 31st of August, your online statement history will no longer be available,” Mr Andrews said.
“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,” he added.
“So make sure you have the documents you need saved, in order to avoid a potential delay.”
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“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.”
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