Santander has been operating in the UK since 2010. However, the origins of Santander Bank outside of the UK stretch back much further than this.

About Santander

Spanish banking group Banco Santander formed the UK commercial bank, Santander from the merger and acquisitions of UK Building Societies Abbey National, Alliance & Leicester, and Bradford & Bingley.

The three Building Societies have been subsequently rebranded, Santander and now operate as one entity. Although owned by the Santander Group, it operates autonomously with its own management team.

An analogue clock set to 4pm
  • 2004 - The Santander Group purchase Abbey National for £9 billion.
  • 2008 - The Santander Group purchase Alliance & Leicester and Bradford & Bingley.
  • 2009 - The bank launches the first current account in the UK with no fees for Santander mortgage customers.
  • 2010 - The three Building Societies are rebranded, Santander.
  • 2012 - Santander attempts to purchase the England and Wales branches of The Royal Bank of Scotland and Scotland branches of NatWest following a restructure by The Royal Bank of Scotland Group of its brand names. However, the deal later collapsed.
  • 2012 - The bank sells its store card business, which had provided services for many UK high street stores.
  • 2019 - It announces plans to close 140 branches throughout the UK.

Is Santander a UK bank?

Yes, and no. Santander is a subsidiary of the Spanish bank group, Banco Santander. However, Santander operates in the UK independently and has its headquarters in London.

Santander Share Price

Shares for Santander are listed as Banco Santander, S.A. (SAN) and it has listings on Stock Markets throughout Spain, America, Asia, and Europe, including the London Stock Exchange.

According to, the banks all-time stock closing price was $20.37 in May 2008. However, between 2014 - 2018 its average closing price was $6.42 per share, and since 2017 its average stock price has continued to decrease.

Banco Santander is the largest bank in Spain and the biggest international bank in Latin America. Its annual revenue for 2018 was $80,790 million, which was an increase from 2016 and 2015.

Why is Santander share price dropping?

Shares in Santander have continued to slump over recent years. Because of the bank operating throughout the world, external factors in any of its operating countries can impact shares. For example, uncertainty over Brexit in the UK, the global economy, and changes in government can all affect the banks’ share price.

Ultimately, the bank performs well and its revenue has been increasing year-on-year. Experts  claim to be optimistic about the banks’ future prospects.

Santander PPI

Santander offered PPI (Payment Protection Insurance) to its commercial banking customers to protect them from falling behind on their monthly payments, on products such as credit cards, loans, and mortgages in return for a monthly fee.

If a customer could no longer keep up with repayments because of illness or redundancy, their PPI policy would make full or partial contributions towards the customer’s monthly repayments. However, customers soon began to complain that they felt PPI had been mis-sold to them.

Customers felt that they were mis-sold the product because of:

A woman stood next to a pile of paperwork
  • Not being properly informed about having a PPI policy.
  • Not wanting PPI.
  • Feeling pressured or swayed into taking out PPI.
  • Being advised to take out an unsuitable policy.
  • Being sold Halifax PPI when they were self-employed.
  • Not being fully informed of the policy details.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) ruled that if the amount of commission the bank received was over half the cost of the PPI charged to the customer and the PPI policy wasn’t made clear at the point of sale or sold unfairly, then it must pay some of this money back to the customer.

To date, more than £36 billion has been paid out to customers in compensation - Find out more about PPI and see if you may be owed compensation. (Coming Soon)

Santander customer service

Santander has been plagued by poor customer service reviews over the years and has often been rated the worst bank for customer service in the UK.


The Guardian “receives more complaints about Santander than any other bank, and sometimes more than all the others put together.” and voted it the worst bank in its recent customer service poll.

88% of Santander customers rate the bank as Poor or Bad on review site Trustpilot where it has a score of 1.5 / 5.

Avoid this bank at all costs - horrendous customer service, labyrinthine complaints procedure

Over the years, the bank has attempted to improve its customer service reputation. In a recent survey by Consumer Association, Which? it rated the bank 72%, putting it ahead of the likes of Halifax, Lloyds, HSBC, and Barclays. However, this rating was based on multiple measures besides customer service, where it was only rated 3 / 5.

Really they have made tremendous efforts to excel in customer service and that is the most important thing, at least to the customer!

Santander branches

Santander has 800 branches throughout the UK. Over the last five years it has invested in its network by refurbishing its busiest branches and introducing improved services for its customers, such as touch screen cash machines.

Branch closures

In 2019, Santander announced that it was to close 140 bank branches throughout the UK. It blamed this decision on a downturn in traffic as more and more customers turn to online and mobile banking for most of their daily banking needs.

Santander is not on its own here, and many banks have been forced to close branches over the years. Santander is far from the worst offender; Barclays has closed 300 branches since 2015, and NatWest has closed over 600 branches.

Opening times

Opening times for Santander branches will vary on your location. However, the majority are open Monday - Friday 09:30 - 17:00 and 09:30 - 16:00 Saturday. Like most banks, Santander branches are usually closed on Sundays.

Santander branches near me

If you need to visit your local bank branch or if you want to find a branch open at a time suitable for you, you can use the Santander branch locator. You can also use this tool to find your nearest Santander ATM.

Customers of Santander can also use Post Office branches for some services such as:

  • Withdrawing cash
  • Depositing cash
  • Checking your balance
  • Paying in cheques

Santander accounts

Santander has a good selection of accounts to choose from depending on your requirements and eligibility. For those looking to receive some rewards and benefits with their account, then you can check out the range of Santander 123 accounts available.

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Apply for a Santander account

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Everyday Current Account

Besides the 123 accounts, Santander offers an Everyday Current Account, that has no monthly fee or minimum monthly funding requirements.

With an Everyday Current Account, you receive:

Two men holding cash in their hands
  • A contactless debit card
  • Up to 15% cashback at select retailers
  • Arranged overdraft (subject to eligibility)
  • Access to online, telephone, and mobile banking
  • Text alerts about your account balance

Basic Account

If you have a less than perfect credit history, or you are not eligible for the Everyday Current Account then don’t worry, you can still apply for a Santander Basic Account.

You can apply for a Basic Account if you are:

  • 16 or over, and
  • Live in the UK

You can use your account the same way you would a regular current account, including setting up direct debits and having your salary paid into your account. In addition, you will also be able to build up your credit history and earn 15% cashback at select retailers when you use your Santander contactless debit card.

Joint Account

If you wish to open a joint account, you can do so with any of the Santander current accounts. When you start your application, either online or in your local branch, it will ask you to confirm if your application is a sole account or a joint account.

Any two people can apply for a joint bank account as long as both applicants meet the eligibility criteria and live at the same address. You do not need to be related to have a joint account.

Both account holders will have access to the account and the money held in it. You should only open a joint account with someone you know and trust. Any debt incurred will be in both of your names.

Santander Select

Santander Select is an exclusive service for customers that meet certain requirements. Eligible customers will have access to exclusive products and services, including the Select Current Account.

To be eligible for Santander Select, you must:

  • Pay your main income of at least £5,000 per month into your Select Current Account
  • Or, keep £75,000 in any Santander investment(s)

To reward your customer loyalty, Santander Select customers have access to:

  • Priority service
  • Relationship management
  • Global support
  • Fee-free withdrawals at Santander cash machines worldwide
  • Preferential rates on savings and mortgages
  • Discounted travel insurance, Will writing, and lasting power of attorney services

Compare the best bank accountsStill unsure if Santander is the right bank for you? Then why not compare the best bank accounts to see what other options are available.

Savings account

Santander provides a large choice of savings products including ISAs, everyday savings accounts, and investments.

Find out more about Santander saving accounts (Coming Soon).


If you require an overdraft with your account, you can apply for one as part of your initial application or at any point after via online banking, visiting your local branch, or contacting Santander customer support.

You will need to pass a credit check, and Santander will charge you an arranged overdraft usage fee for each day you use it.

Overdrafts are credit and can lead to debt if not managed correctly. Always do your own research before deciding if an overdraft is right for you and seek financial advice.

Loans and Credit Cards

Besides current accounts, Santander offers a great line of credit products, with various options available depending on your lending requirements and eligibility.

Find out more about Santander loans and Santander credit cards (Coming Soon).

How to apply for a Santander bank account

To apply for a Santander bank account, you will first need to check that you meet its eligibility criteria, which you can view on its website or by speaking to an advisor in a branch.

Some accounts will require passing a credit check, especially if you wish to apply for an overdraft, loan, or credit card.

You can apply for a new account:

  • Online
  • In branch

Switch to Santander

If you want to switch your account with your current bank or building society to Santander, then you can do so using the Current Account Switch Guarantee.

What is the Current Account Switch Guarantee?The Current Account Switch Service is a free service that enables you to switch your current account from one bank to another. The service takes seven days, and it moves all of your incoming and outgoing payments and current balance over to your new account for you.

When you apply for an account with Santander, you just need to let it know that you wish to use the service and it will get everything moved over from your previous account to your new one. Santander will even close your old account down for you too.

A woman stood next to a piggy bank

Santander will arrange for the following to be transferred from your old account to your new account:

  • Your existing balance
  • Your incoming payments, such as your salary
  • Your outgoing payments, such as your direct debits and standing orders

Any payments accidentally made to your old account will be automatically redirected to your new account, and Santander will contact the sender to give them your new account details.

Close a Santander account

If you are already a Santander customer and wish to close your account, then you will need to call Santander or visit your nearest branch.

If you are in credit on your account, then Santander should refund this money to you. If you are in debt with Santander, then it may require you to settle the debt before allowing you to close the account.

Using your Santander bank account

Once you have your account opened, you will have access to some great banking services to manage your money.

You can use your Santander account to:

  • Make payments in store and online
  • Withdraw cash from ATMs
  • Pay bills
  • Send and receive money
  • Spend abroad
  • Send international payments
  • Access internet, mobile, and telephone banking

You can add your Santander debit or credit card to Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.

Santander app

Thanks to advances in banking technology, nearly every bank has a mobile app that customers can use to access their account on the go, and Santander is no exception. With the Santander app you can:

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  • View recent and pending transactions
  • Check your balance
  • Send money
  • View and cancel direct debits
  • View, cancel, or set up standing orders

The Santander app is available for free download from the App Store and Google Play Store where it is rated 4.8 / 5 and 4.6 / 5 respectively.

Reviews of the Santander app are mostly positive, and it is one of the highest rated mobile banking apps.

Internet Banking

In addition to mobile banking, customers can also access their account from their computer using internet banking.

Internet banking has the same features as mobile banking, along with a few additional services that can’t be done via the app.

Learn more about banking online with Santander (Coming Soon).

Using your account abroad

Thanks to Santander being a global bank and because it issues Visa and MasterCard debit and credit cards, you can take your account with you on your travels. However, as with most banks, this luxury comes with a few fees.

You can use your Santander debit or credit card abroad to:

  • Spend in stores, restaurants, and bars
  • Withdraw cash from ATMs

To use your bank account outside of Europe, you will need to let Santander know in advance, through Online Banking or by giving them a call so that it doesn’t suspect any fraudulent activity and block your account.

Fee Debit cards Credit cards
Non-Sterling Transaction Fee 2.75% + £1.25 2.95%
Non-Sterling Cash Fee 1.5% + 2.75% Non-Sterling Transaction Fee 3% + 2.95%Non-Sterling Transaction Fee

Some Santander credit cards avoid the Non-sterling transaction fee, which you can read more about in our guide to Santander Credit Cards (Coming Soon)

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