Technically founded in 2010, Santander was created when Abbey National was combined with Bradford & Bingley following buyouts of the two – with Alliance & Leicester later being added to the newly merged business.
Part of the Spanish banking group Banco Santander S.A. – the UK branch of operations has its head offices in London and is currently estimated to draw in around £5 billion in revenues per year.
Despite the size of the business, Santander has frequently been voted the worst bank in the UK for customer service.
In reaction to this, the business has put vast resources into trying to alter the public’s perception of the business, launching the popular ‘123’ range of products in 2013. Advertised using Olympic gold medal winner Jessica Ennis, golfer Rory McIlroy and Formula One driver Jenson Button, the range offers cashback incentives on top of the usual interest payments – usually done in instalments of 1%, 2% or 3%.
Although they are a relatively new name to the high street, Santander has quickly become one of the most recognisable names in banking alongside the likes of Barclays, Lloyds, TSB and RBS. This is partly due to their sponsorship of the McLaren Formula One team, as well as the British Grand Prix and huge television advertising campaigns.
Like all high street banks, Santander offers a full range of credit cards, personal savings, mortgages and insurance options, in addition to dealing with business and corporate accounts. Santander claims to currently have around 25 million customers over the UK, and employee an estimated 24,000 workers in order to deal with the understandably heavy workload that comes with that.