Santander has added to its customer base by buying up all of the NatWest branches in Scotland as well as the RBS branches in England and Wales. The deal involved all the accounts automatically moving and becoming Santander accounts. While the deal was for all the accounts to move, it is really the customer that can decide.
Those customers with an RBS account can stay with RBS but they have to make a formal request. RBS cannot talk to customers about staying with their Bank due to specifications in the deal. The deadline is fast approaching and those wishing to stay with RBS should put in the request soon. Within 18 months the switch will occur adding 1.8 million customers to Santander’s customer base. Of course customers can decide to take their account outside the deal of Santander and RBS and choose a totally different bank.
In August 2009 Santander purchased 318 branches of RBS and NatWest which are both a part of Royal Bank of Scotland Group. The 1.65 billion pound deal came about due to a push on RBS’s to sell branches to safeguard competition concerns. The sale was at the insistence of the European Commission after RBS needed a bailout by the UK government.
While it is true that customers can stick with RBS versus a move to Santander, there is no information available to customers from either bank explaining the situation. There is no information on the RBS website. Without knowledge of this availability to stick with RBS most customers will just accept the change.
The information that RBS customers could request a stay of their account came from an RBS spokesman to BBC radio. The spokesman said: “Customers have the right to choose where they receive their banking services from.
“However, as part of the agreement reached with the European Commission, RBS has agreed not to actively solicit customers.”
Of course many may find the move to be satisfactory since Santander is on the rise as a strong standout in the banking industry. Many will decide to make the move with their account despite the ability to stay with RBS. There have been growing pains for the bank and it has been dealing with a large number of customer complaints in the past. On a positive side Santander has been busy with job creations for the UK with an announced 400 new employees to come on board.