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Santander begins rebranding of Abbey and B&B

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by Kay Mitchell
Santander begins rebranding of Abbey and B&B

Spanish banking giant Santander is to begin its integration of UK High Street banks – Abbey and Bradford & Bingley (B&B).

Santander, 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 2008, it rescued troubled mortgage lender, Alliance & Leicester (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.

Once the integration is complete, a total of 1,300 branches will have their names changed to Santander.

The Spanish bank will kick off the rebranding of Abbey and B&B with approximately 300 branches in London and the South East to be the first to undergo the name change.

A further 700 outlets across Britain will be rebranded within the next three weeks. Santander will carry out a similar exercise on its 300 A&L branches later this year.

The Spanish bank aims to have rebranded all 1,000 of its Abbey and B&B branches by the end of January.

As well as the name changes, nearly 10,000 staff have been issued with new uniforms, and the Santander name will be emblazoned on 971 cash machines, 27 company websites and thousands of separate items of stationery.

Antonio Horta-Osorio, chief executive of Santander’s UK businesses, said: “The success of our UK business has given us the confidence to move to the Santander name now and with it deliver the next phase of our transformation programme and make 1,300 branches available to our 25 million customers in the UK.”

Santander is actively looking to enhance its share of the current account and mortgage markets.

In related news, A&L has been named the most consistently competitive mortgage lender during the final quarter of 2009, according to research by mortgage search software firm, Evaluate Technologies.

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News posted: January 11, 2010

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