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Santander to close 111 bank branches

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Written by: Emma Lunn
25/03/2021
The bank is also closing some offices, consolidating sites and introducing new working arrangements for staff.

Santander said most closing branches are less than three miles from another Santander branch, with the furthest five miles away. It also said that all are within half a mile of at least two free-to-use ATMs.

The bank said the branch closures are in response to the ongoing shift by customers towards mobile and online banking, a long-term trend which has been accelerated by the pandemic. The affected branches will close by the end of August 2021.

According to Santander, branch transactions fell by 33% over the two years before the pandemic, and declined by a further 50% in 2020. Mobile and online transactions have, meanwhile, been growing by 20% each year, with almost two thirds of overall transactions now digital.

Santander will retain a network of 452 branches following the proposed changes, which it says provides “broad coverage across the whole of the UK”. All Santander current and business account holders can also bank at Post Office branches.

A dedicated phone number (0800 085 0879) is available to provide customers with help and information on the closures. The bank will also hold a series of online events over the coming months where a member of Santander’s branch team will explain alternative ways to bank and the tools and support available.

Adam Bishop, head of branches at Santander, said: “Branch usage by customers has fallen considerably over recent years so we have made the difficult decision to consolidate our presence in areas where we have multiple branches relatively close together. The majority of the closing branches are within three miles of another branch and the furthest is five miles away.

Santander office sites

Santander will also consolidate its office sites into six main locations, with Milton Keynes becoming its new corporate headquarters.

The bank plans close its Bootle, Newcastle, London Portman House and Manchester Deansgate offices by the end of 2021. It will also reduce its volume of office space at its London Triton Square, London Ludgate Hill, Leicester Carlton Park and Teesside sites.

About 5,000 staff based at closing or consolidating sites will be offered new working arrangements combining working from home with access to ‘local collaboration spaces’.

The bank said the move was in response to requests from staff for more flexible working arrangements after the pandemic.

Santander has consulted its trade unions on the closure proposals and “expects to be able to find alternative roles for a significant number of those colleagues wishing to stay with the bank”.

Nathan Bostock, Santander UK CEO, said: “The pandemic has accelerated the existing trend towards greater flexible working, and our colleagues have told us this has brought significant benefits for many of them. At the same time, physical spaces remain very important and our sites around the UK will provide our colleagues with first-class facilities fit for the future.”

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