Santander to slash opening hours at hundreds of branches - here's what you need to know
Santander is to shorten its opening hours on both weekdays and weekends at hundreds of branches across the UK for those who walk-in without a pre-booked appointment.
Santander said it has made the decision due to low customer use and added that it would increase capacity for telephone banking.
The move comes as banking groups across the country have axed branches, with HSBC announcing it will close 69 branches across the UK between July and October this year, while NatWest Group said it will shut 32 of its NatWest and RBS branches between May and July this year. Santander last shut branches in August, when 111 branches were closed.
How Santander branch opening times will change from 18 July
- The majority (446) of Santander's 450 UK branches will only open for walk-ins from 9:30am - 3pm, down from 9:30am - 4:30pm at present. You'll need to have a pre-booked appointment if you need to visit one of these branches between 3pm and 5pm during the week.
- Only four branches will keep their current weekday opening hours:
- Basingstoke will remain open 9:30am - 7pm.
- Gateshead Metro will remain open from 10am - 6pm.
- Sheffield Meadowhall will remain open from 10:30am - 7:30pm.
- Work Café in Leeds will remain open from 9am - 4pm.
- 316 UK branches will only open for walk-ins from 9:30am - 12:30pm, down from 9:30am - 4pm now. Again, you'll need a pre-booked appointment if you need to visit the branch between the hours of 12pm and 4pm.
- 76 branches will keep their current Saturday opening hours of 9:30am - 12:30pm.
- 58 branches will remain closed on Saturdays.
You can still bank online with Santander or use Post Office services
If branch access later in the day is important, try switching to an alternative bank but remember to check opening hours
- Halifax is offering new customers who switch to the Halifax Reward £125, plus monthly rewards. You can choose between £5 cash, a Vue cinema ticket, two RakutenTV movie rentals, or three digital magazines (such as Cosmopolitan, Men's Health). To get it all, and keep the account free, you must pay in £1,500+/month, and either spend £500+/month or keep £5,000+ in the account – you must choose which of these you'll do in advance and your choice is fixed for a year.
- HSBC is currently offering newbies who switch to the HSBC Advance* via this specific link get £175 free cash. Plus you get access to a linked 1% regular saver where you can save up to £250/month. There's no minimum monthly pay-in to keep the account, though you will need to deposit £1,500+ once to get the bonus.
- Nationwide is offering existing customers who switch to the Nationwide FlexDirect get £125, newbies get £100 (though we've an easy trick for all to get the boosted £125 – the link has full details). In addition to the free cash, you get 2% fixed interest on up to £1,500 and many get a 0% overdraft – both last for the first 12 months, unless you've had this account before, in which case you'll get just 0.25% in-credit interest and no 0% overdraft.
What does Santander say?
Richard Owen, head of branches at Santander said: "These changes will enable us to maintain our existing branch network while providing significant additional capacity to help customers who want to talk to us by phone. We have seen a continuing reduction in branch usage over several years, both before and since the peak of the pandemic, with many customers preferring to transact digitally or contact us by phone."
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