Santander says adios to Spanish ATM charges for UK customers

Source: Abbey

Following the announcement of the Zero Current Account in November 2009, Santander is today announcing another initiative aimed at rewarding loyalty amongst its existing customers. From next week, when Santander starts to rebrand its Abbey and Bradford & Bingley businesses in the UK, all of its adult bank account customers,(1) will get fee free cash withdrawals from all of Santander's 4,300 ATMs in Spain.

This means:

* No cash handling fee - 1.5% of the transaction (minimum £1.99); AND,
* No foreign exchange fee - 2.75%

The savings will help our customer's travel money go further. If a customer draws out the average €130 three times whilst in Spain - they will save £15.51(2) - if they use a Santander ATM. Santander predicts that if all of its customers who visit Spain use a Santander ATM next year, the total savings could be as much as £2 million.(3)

Spain is a popular holiday destination for Abbey customers. In the last year, almost one in four(4) (22%) of all withdrawals made from an Abbey Bank account, using an ATM overseas, was made in Spain.

Alison Brittain, Executive Director, UK Retail Distribution, Santander UK, said:

"When we launched the Zero Current Account, we made a pledge that we would offer further initiatives aimed at rewarding loyalty amongst our existing customer base.

"Providing free access to Santander ATMs in Spain could save our customers over £2 million a year in ATM charges. Spain has always been a popular destination with Britons, and we wanted to reward the loyalty of our customers by saving them some money when they visit."

Following the acquisition of Alliance & Leicester and the Bradford & Bingley savings business in 2008, Santander now has a significant share of UK retail banking and 25 million UK customers. Over the next few years, the bank aims to increase the number of products each of its customers hold through increasingly competitive and market-leading products to its customer base.

Santander's UK strategy has been built on three pillars - improving efficiency at a faster and to a greater extent than its UK peers; using this competitive cost advantage to give customers better value-for-money products; which in turn drives more customer business to the bank. This successful strategy has enabled Santander to outperform its UK retail competitors for the last two years and it is now the UK's most effi's most's most efficient bank.

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