Santander to rebrand Abbey, A&L and B&B
In a move which will cost £12 million, Santander is to re-name its UK High Street banks: Abbey, Alliance & Leicester (A&L) and Bradford & Bingley (B&B).
According to Santander, the move is aimed at saving £180 million from integrating the three banks.
The move would also allow the UK business to use the “expertise and product developments from Santander’s global business,” according to António Horta-Osório, chief executive of Santander’s UK business.
The Spanish bank, which is the second largest banking group in the world after HSBC, became a household name in the UK when it acquired Abbey for £9.5 billion, back in 2004.
In July of last year, it then rescued troubled mortgage lender, A&L, and a few months later, it took ownership of B&B’s savings business and branch network.
The reason behind the rebrand is so customers of the above mentioned UK banks will be able to carry out transactions in any of Santander’s UK branches.
By the end of next year, a total of 1,300 branches will have their names changed to Santander. However, the move was described as “risky” by one analyst.
Banking analyst, Leigh Goodwin, told the BBC: “Abbey has good value as a trusted brand in the mortgage and savings arena. Staff will be upset and there will be a potential loss of customers.”
However, according to Mr Horta-Osório, customers would benefit from access to all of the group’s network once the rebrand is complete.
“It’s important for customers who travel around the UK to have 1,300 branches to transact with – and they will have the same product and the same people facing them in the branches,” he concluded.