High street stalwart Marks and Spencer (M&S) has announced it will offer mortgages to customers of M&S Bank, five years after the plans were first publicly mooted.
The retail giant launched the bank in 2012, replacing an older brand called M&S Money. The bank started with current accounts, and announced mortgages would come at a later date, according to reports from the time of the launch.
That wait will finally end “early in 2018”, with mortgages offered to first-time buyers and home movers, the bank said.
M&S has not yet announced the rates it will offer, with doubts still remaining over whether the Bank of England will raise bank rate in November. While interest rates are currently at historic lows, a small hike would potentially allow slightly more profitable lending for high street banks.
M&S Bank’s announcement did not include any mention of people looking to remortgage, which would include a higher proportion of older, wealthier customers.
The “comfort of the brand” will be a key differentiator for the mortgage offering, according to Sue Fox, chief executive of M&S Bank. She said: “Many of our customers have shopped with M&S their whole lives.
“We’re now in a position to support our customers with the biggest financial decision they’ll ever make – their home.”
M&S Bank operates as a joint venture between banking behemoth HSBC and the retailer, but M&S Bank has its own banking licence and its own board.
It is 100 per cent owned by HSBC, which bought M&S Bank’s predecessor in 2004.
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