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Santander to reduce opening hours across hundreds of branches | Banco Santander

Santander is chopping the opening hours of a whole lot of branches, saying it’s responding to altering buyer habits.

The financial institution stated all however 4 of its branches would now shut at 3pm on weekdays as a substitute of the present 4.30pm, whereas greater than two-thirds would shut at 12.30pm as a substitute of 4pm on Saturdays. Pre-booked face-to-face appointments will likely be obtainable outdoors the brand new hours in sure circumstances.

The modifications, which take impact on 18 July, comply with department closure bulletins by plenty of rival banks. Lloyds Banking Group stated in March that it was axing 60 branches , and HSBC just lately stated it’s shutting 69.

Santander stated there could be no closures as a part of its modifications, and that each one of its 450 shops would stay open each weekday. In March final 12 months the banking group introduced the closure of 111 branches throughout the UK – a fifth of its community.

The brand new Monday to Friday opening hours of 9.30am to 3pm apply to all branches besides for 3 which might be in buying centres, plus an outlet in Leeds.

The financial institution stated that between 3pm and 5pm on weekdays, employees could be obtainable to see prospects who wanted assist that might not be offered by way of various channels or earlier within the day, and an identical association would apply to the 316 branches transferring to half-day Saturday opening.

The financial institution has blamed the modifications on a drop in department utilization and a change to digital banking. It stated the variety of prospects utilizing its branches fell by 33% over the 2 years earlier than the pandemic, then by an extra 50% in 2020, and 12% in 2021.

It added that to strengthen phone help for patrons, department employees could be educated to assist individuals on the cellphone alongside their present face-to-face roles. Department employees serving to prospects who name on the cellphone was launched as a pilot throughout the pandemic.

There will likely be no obligatory redundancies or discount of worker working hours on account of the modifications, stated a spokesperson.

Jenny Ross, cash editor at client physique Which?, stated Santander “deserves credit for taking greater account of customer needs than some of its rivals that have slashed their branch networks without putting in place reasonable alternatives”.

However she added: “This continues a concerning overall trend of banks chipping away at face-to-face services and opening hours … The government must announce, in next month’s Queen’s speech, the legislation it has promised to protect cash for as long as it is needed.”

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