Santander plans to build digital bank in UK

17th May 2018

Spanish banking group Santander has revealed plans to build a standalone digital bank in order to boost its online presence.

Santander also plans to bring Openbank to the UK, which is the bank’s fully digital service available in Spain. It holds 1.35 million accounts.

The UK digital bank will be built over the early summer months and will focus on smaller companies and offer services other than normal lending, like payroll and pensions advice.

Four innovation hubs headed by independent CEOs will also be developed. The platforms are Super Digital, an account for Latin America; Open Bank, a blueprint for new IT systems and architecture; One Pay FX, which specialises in blockchain transfers; and a digital financial services platform for SMEs.

The move comes at a point when there’s fierce competition in the online banking market and a rise in digital investment advice provided by robot-advisers and platforms like Monzo and Tandem Money.

In the latest UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI), Santander scored 81, which is above both the UK all-sector average of 78.1 and the banks and building societies average of 79.8. First Direct topped the sector with a score of 86.1, with Yorkshire Bank and M&S scoring 85.3 and 84.7, respectively.

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