High street bank Abbey is planning to open 100 new branches over the next ten years, according to British newspaper The Times.
The expansion is part of an initiative by Abbey parent company Banco Santander to treble the size of its UK operations over the next ten years.
Alfredo Sáenz, the chief executive of Santander, told The Times that the bank plans to open the new branches in areas of the UK in which Abbey does not currently have a presence.
He says the UK bank will probably relocate some branches too. Abbey's existing network of 714 bank branches is strong in the south of the UK, but weaker in the midlands and the north east.
The move would represent the first significant branch opening programme by Abbey for 15 years, after the former building society's demutualisation in 1989, says the report.
The news came as Saenz tried to quash speculation that the Spanish banking giant is considering buying other UK banks such as Alliance & Leicester and Bradford & Bingley.