General Information& Regulation
Santander UK is a large retail and commercial bank based in the UK and a wholly-owned subsidiary of the major global bank Banco Santander. It is registered in England and Wales, authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority, and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. It manages its affairs autonomously, with its own local management team, responsible solely for its performance. It has its origins in three constituent companies—Abbey National, Alliance & Leicester and Bradford & Bingley—all former mutual building societies. It is one of the leading personal financial services companies in the United Kingdom, and one of the largest providers of mortgages and savings in the United Kingdom.
The Santander UKs segments include Retail Banking, Corporate & Commercial Banking and Corporate & Investment Banking. The Retail Banking segment offers a range of products and financial services to individuals and small businesses, through a network of branches and automated teller machines (ATMs), as well as through telephony, digital, mobile and intermediary channels. The Corporate & Commercial Banking segment offers a range of products and financial services include loans, bank accounts, deposits, treasury services, trade and asset finance for small medium enterprises (SME) and corporate customers. The Corporate & Investment Banking segment serves corporate clients and financial institutions.
Six digit account sort codes are used in the range between 09-00-xx to 09-19-xx. Sort codes for accounts formerly held by Alliance & Leicester use the range 09-01-31 to 09-01-36.
In October 2011, Moody's downgraded the credit rating of twelve financial firms in the United Kingdom, including Santander UK, blaming financial weakness. In June 2012, Moody rated Santander UK as being in a more financially healthy position than its parent company, Banco Santander.
Deposit & Withdrawal
In November 2009, Santander launched the first current account in the United Kingdom without fees (including unauthorised overdrafts) for its current and future mortgage customers. In January 2010, the bank began waiving fees for customers using Santander's automated teller machines in Spain, which traditionally would incur fees for transactions in a foreign currency.
Santander's Corporate and Commercial Banking division operates from a number of regional business banking centres across the United Kingdom. Less than 1% of Santander UK's business is held abroad.
Santander has frequently been rated the worst bank for customer service in the United Kingdom, although by July 2011 had sought to improve, notably by returning call centre operations to the United Kingdom from India. Its '123' product range was ranked third best in the United Kingdom in 2013, and in a moneysavingexpert.com poll in February 2014, customers ranked their satisfaction higher than with any of other main high street banks.
Pros & Cons
The advantages are free checking with few activity requirements and free savings account if you also have checking. The disadvantages are poor interest rates on your deposits and higher fees for non-network ATMs and paper statements.