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Santander Corporate Banking

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Santander Corporate Banking

Santander UK plc
Public limited company
Industry Finance and Insurance
Founded 2010 (London, United Kingdom)
1985 (Alliance & Leicester)
1964 (Bradford & Bingley)
1944 (Abbey National)
earliest components
1852 (Leicester Permanent Building Society)
1851 (Bradford Equitable Building Society & Bingley Permanent Building Society)
1849 (National Permanent Mutual Benefit Building Society)
Headquarters London, England, UK
Key people Lord Burns, Chairman
Ana Patricia Botín, CEO[1]
Products Financial Services
Revenue £4.901 billion (2012)[2]
Operating income £1.231 billion (2012)[2]
Net income £939 million (2012)[2]
Employees 25,000
Parent Santander Group
Subsidiaries Abbey National Treasury Services
Cater Allen
Santander Private Banking

Santander UK plc is a United Kingdom bank, wholly owned by the Spanish Santander Group. Santander is the third largest bank in the UK in terms of deposits, the second largest in terms of mortgages held, and the fourth largest in terms of branches operated, with over 25 million customers.[3] The bank has more than 1,300 branches, and employs over 25,000 people throughout the UK.

The bank was established on 11 January 2010 when Abbey National plc was combined with the savings business and branches of Bradford & Bingley plc, and renamed Santander UK plc. Alliance & Leicester plc merged into the renamed business in May 2010. In 2012, Santander pulled out of a deal to buy the branches of The Royal Bank of Scotland in England and Wales, and the branches of NatWest in Scotland, citing technical difficulties and a series of delays as a factor in their decision to end the deal.

Santander has frequently been ranked the worst bank in the UK for customer service.[4] Between 2007 and 2010 it was ranked as worst bank for customer service in the J. D. Power UK Retail Banking Satisfaction Study, however in the 2011 survey it had improved to second worst.[5]

In October 2011, Moody's downgraded the credit rating of 12 UK financial firms including Santander UK, blaming financial weakness.[6] In June 2012, Moody rated Santander UK as being in a more financially healthy position than its parent company, Banco Santander; less than 1% of Santander UK's business is held abroad.[7]



The three constituent companies—Abbey National, Alliance & Leicester and Bradford & Bingley—had roots dating back to 1849 as mutual building societies.

The National Freehold Land Society was established by two Liberal Members of Parliament, Sir Joshua Walmsley and Richard Cobden, in 1849. The Abbey Road & St. John's Wood Permanent Benefit Building Society was founded in 1874, based in a Baptist church on Abbey Road in Kilburn. The Abbey National Building Society was formed following the merger in 1944 of what had become Abbey Road Building Society (already the second largest) and National Building Society (at the time the sixth largest).[8] It was the first to demutualise in 1989.

Bradford & Bingley Building Society was formed in 1964 as a result of the merger of the Bradford Equitable Building Society and the Bingley Permanent Building Society, both of which had been established in 1851.[9] It was the last to demutualise, against the board's recommendation, in 2000.

Alliance & Leicester Building Society had its roots in the formation of the Leicester Permanent Benefit Society in 1852 [10] which had changed its name to the Leicester Permanent Building Society by the time it started trading in 1853.[11] The Leicester Building Society (which it had become in 1974 on its merger with the Leicester Temperance Building Society) merged with the Alliance (originally Brighton and Sussex) Building Society in 1985 and subsequently demutualised in 1997.[12]


Abbey National plc, trading as Abbey, was purchased by the Santander Group in 2004 for £9 billion. Santander purchased Alliance & Leicester in mid-September 2008,[13] followed by the branches and savings business of Bradford & Bingley which had been nationalised by HM Government during the 2008 banking crisis.[14]

Santander UK plc was formed by the renaming of Abbey National plc which also included the branch network and savings business of Bradford & Bingley plc on 11 January 2010. Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton unveiled the first rebranded Santander branch that day in central London. A further 300 Abbey and Bradford & Bingley branches in London and south east England were rebranded that day, with branches in the rest of the UK following by the end of the month, by which time there were 1,045 Santander branches.[15] Alliance & Leicester plc merged into the bank on 28 May 2010,[16] and was rebranded by the end of the year.[17]

The bank retained the London headquarters of Abbey National and renamed other regional buildings under its own name.[18] The Abbey name was retained initially for Abbey International (now Santander Private Banking), and Abbey for Intermediaries (now Santander for Intermediaries), the division of the bank offering Abbey branded mortgages provided by Santander UK plc.[19] The charitable divisions of Abbey, Bradford & Bingley and Alliance & Leicester were brought together to form the Santander Foundation.[20]

Due to the three-way merger, Santander has the unusual position of having more than one branch in many British high streets. In Northumerland Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, for example, there are three branches, which were formerly Abbey, Alliance & Leicester and Bradford & Bingley respectively. Plymouth city centre has four branches within 300 metres, two of which are adjacent to each other. In 2012, the bank began to reduce the number of duplicate branches, identifying 56 that would close. Staff in the branches selected for closure would be moved to other nearby branches.[21]

Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank merged into Santander's business banking division, Santander Corporate Banking, in 2009.[22]

Recent years

On 9 March 2010, Santander sold the investment and asset management business James Hay to IFG Group for £35 million.[23]

On 4 August 2010 it was confirmed that Santander would be purchasing the ex-Williams & Glyn's Bank branded English branches of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, as well as the National Westminster Bank branches in Scotland, after much speculation.[24] The deal collapsed on 12 October 2012.[25]

In 2011 Santander put aside £538m to cover claims from customers for the misselling of payment protection insurance (PPI).[26]

Santander has frequently been rated the worst bank in the UK for customer service,[4] although by July 2011 had sought to improve, notably by returning call centre operations to the UK from India.[27]

In December 2012, Santander reached an agreement to sell its store card business, which includes branded cards issued for retailers including Topshop, House of Fraser and Debenhams, to SAV Credit.[28] The sale was completed on 13 May 2013, though Santander will continue to service accounts on behalf of SAV Credit until mid-2014.[29]

In May 2013, Ana Botin announced plans to double the number of regional business banking centres to 70 across the UK within three years.[30]


The bank provides a full range of personal, business and corporate accounts, including current accounts, mortgages, credit products and savings and investments. Santander operate online banking services, including a mobile app, and operate an internet-only banking division branded Cahoot. Mortgages are also provided through Santander for Intermediaries, a division of the bank used by brokers. Credit cards are issued by Santander Cards Limited.

Santander UK is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by both the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Consumer credit products are licensed and regulated by the Office of Fair Trading.[31] It is a member of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, UK Payments Administration, Bankers' Automated Clearing Services (BACS), the Faster Payments Service, the Clearing House Automated Payment System (CHAPS), the Cheque and Credit Clearing Company and the British Bankers' Association.[32]

The bank operates a branch on the Isle of Man, which is licensed by the Financial Supervision Commission.[31] Santander's offshore banking subsidiary Santander Private Banking operates in Jersey.

Six-digit account sort codes are used in the range between 09-00-xx to 09-19-xx. Sort codes for accounts formerly held by Alliance & Leicester use the range 09-01-31 to 09-01-36.

In 2009 Santander launched the UK's first current account without fees (including unauthorised overdrafts) for its current and future mortgage customers.[33] Customers are not charged fees for using Santander's automated teller machines in Spain, which traditionally would incur fees for transactions in a foreign currency.[34]


Santander announced a sponsorship detail with the McLaren Formula One team in 2007. The bank is also title sponsor of the British Grand Prix, and announced a second team sponsorship deal, with Scuderia Ferrari, in 2009.[35] Santander announced that it would continue to sponsor McLaren due to its brand awareness in the UK rising from 20 to 82 percent.[36]

Golfer Rory McIlroy is also sponsored by the bank, having signed an agreement in September 2011.[37] In 2013, it was announced that British Athlete Jessica Ennis would become a Brand Ambassador.


External links

  • Corporate website
  • Isle of Man branch
  • Santander Corporate Banking
  • Santander Private Banking
  • Santander Foundation

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