From tomorrow (Monday 11th January), you’ll no longer see the names Abbey or Bradford & Bingley on your local high street.
These 2 banks (both formerly building societies) are to be renamed under the brand of their parent company, Spanish banking group Santander, with the other Santander-owned bank Alliance & Leicester to be rebranded later in the year.
In total more than 1,300 branches will eventually carry the Santander logo, and it will become the 5th largest bank on the high street, behind RBS/Natwest, Lloyds, HSBC and Barclays.
Whilst many would bemoan the demise of these British brands (what brand identity could be more “British” than that of the bowler-hatted Bradford & Bingley?), it is hoped that the banks size will lead to greater competition in UK banking Santander has already thrown its hat into the ring with a fee-free current account, for existing mortgage customers, and with 25 million customers it is going to have some massive economies of scale to leverage.
It’s difficult to argue that UK banking has been suffering in the last couple of years, we’re going to be seeing some big changes over the coming years – the forthcoming additions of both Virgin (who recently purchased a small bank in order to speed up the process of getting a banking licence) and Tesco Bank to the high street should make things very interesting. Let’s hope this added competition by innovative companies will put banking back at the center of our finances.
photo credit: gwydionwilliams
- Santander Becomes First UK Bank To Launch Voice Banking Technology (March 23, 2016)
- Santander First High Street Bank To Offer FitBit Pay (April 26, 2018)
- Santander Launches New App “Kitti” To Help Groups Manage Money (July 22, 2015)
- Fraud Warning For Bank Customers On Twitter (September 10, 2015)
- UK Consumers “Sceptical” About Benefits of Digital-Only Banks (October 17, 2016)