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Santander to launch stand-alone digital banking service

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Santander has confirmed that it is working on plans to launch a stand-alone digital bank.

First reported in the Telegraph, the banking giant will open a business banking service under a separate brand before the end of the year. The new service will be focused on small companies, and include services such as lending, payrolls and pensions.

Santander is also debating whether to bring its Spain-based digital lending service Openbank to the UK. It already has around 1.3 million customers. It follows news that HSBC will launch a new app that allows its account holders to see information across multiple accounts, including those held with rivals as part of the new open banking rules.

Traditional UK banks are having to devise ways to deal with the rise of mobile banking. Companies such as Revolut, Starling, Monzo or Tandem are drawing younger technology-aware customers away from more established banks. The advent of open banking makes it easier to move financial data to these new providers.

Santander is following RBS, which announced plans to create a digital platform in March, overseen by the group’s former chief operating officer, Mark Bailie.

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