Santander UK announces wide-ranging package of support measures for customers impacted by Coronavirus

  • Measures include support for personal customers with agreed overdrafts, credit cards, savings and mortgages
  • Support for business customers through Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and introduction of new tailored business support process
  • Comprehensive online resource1 and online chat2 service to help reduce phone volumes so they are available for those in most urgent need of assistance 
  • Santander is continuing to review additional steps to help customers to ensure support for those in financial difficulty

Santander UK has introduced a wide range of new measures designed to provide financial support for personal and business customers during the Coronavirus crisis and has developed a dedicated and regularly updated website support to provide customers with advice around the help available.

The bank has introduced financial support across mortgages, savings, business loans, credit cards and agreed overdrafts and is continuing to review all areas to develop additional measures that can help those who are facing financial difficulty.

Alongside this the bank has developed new and improved online chat services2 to help reduce the volume of customers using the phone to get in touch. The chat service can be accessed from the Santander website, mobile app and online banking and connects to a chatbot who can provide answers to a wide range of questions.  While the bank has trained additional teams to support those in financial difficulty during this crisis, it is asking customers to use online chat wherever possible and leave the phone lines open for those who are in the most urgent need of help.  

Agreed overdrafts3: a £350 interest free overdraft buffer for three months from 6 April. This means we will automatically waive interest on up to £350 of any agreed overdraft limit.  This option gives support to customers who use their overdraft regularly, but also those who don’t currently use an overdraft but may need to rely on it in the coming weeks. 

Credit cards: the removal of fees on credit cards for late payments and cash advances from 30 March providing additional flexibility without additional cost for customers who need support in managing their money at this time.

Mortgages: an online process to apply for a three-month payment holiday with no impact to a customer’s credit file. To date we have received over 90,000 applications.

Savings: immediate access to fixed terms savings accounts without penalties. This includes fixed rate bonds and fixed rates ISAs and can provide access to funds for customers who might find they need extra cash over the coming weeks.

Business loans (CBILS): participation in the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) in conjunction with the British Business Bank with an online form for customers to apply.

Tailored business support: establishment of a new process to get businesses the right support, tailored to their individual circumstances. This includes access to capital repayment holidays and additional liquidity across overdrafts, working capital, trade finance and loan facilities.

ATMs: keeping our ATMs fully stocked so those who need or want access to cash can do so.

Website1 and online chat service2: website pages for personal, business and corporate customers providing regularly updated advice and tips on managing finances during the Coronavirus outbreak as well as a continuously updated online chat service to deliver guidance to customers and alleviate pressure on call centre teams.

Customer support number: a dedicated customer phone line for those in need of urgent financial assistance (0800 01 56 382).  

Email and social media communications: a customer email and social media campaign to direct customers to the support available and how best to access it – with specific guidance to leave the phone lines free for those most in need of immediate support.

Susan Allen, CEO Retail and Business Banking, Santander UK, said: “This is an incredibly worrying time for our customers and we know that concerns about money are top of mind for many.  We hope that the changes we are introducing will provide some much needed and immediate help, but we would also like to reassure customers that we will continue to update the support we provide and make sure we are helping those in financial difficulty .

“At this time it is really important that we are available to those who most need us.  Many of these measures will be applied automatically and detail can be found on our website.  We urge customers to only contact us by phone if they need urgent support or they have no other means to get in touch – for other customers our online chat service is available to help answer questions.”

As well as the measures introduced specifically to support during the Coronavirus crisis, Santander has a number of options available to customers as part of its regular support for those in need of financial assistance.  The bank has a specialist team who can help customers with a range of support that includes options to defer or reduce payments that are due and review or increase credit and borrowing limits and terms.

More information on how Santander can help customers with support during the Coronavirus outbreak as well as tips and advice can be found on the bank’s website.

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Editors Notes:

1)    Support pages are available for personal, business and corporate customers.
2)    Online chat services can be accessed from the Santander website via any device type and also with authentication from the mobile app and online bank. Accessing Chat automatically connects to a chatbot (robot) designed to either provide the answer immediately of direct the customer to where they can find help. If required, and subject to a colleague being available in a branch or call centre, the Chatbot can pass over to a customer services agent. 
3)    The new limit will be automatically applied to our on-sale personal current accounts that have an agreed overdraft limit.  Customers can easily and safely apply for an agreed overdraft limit or an increase to their existing limit via Santander’s Online Banking. The £350 interest free overdraft buffer will apply to agreed overdrafts on the 1|2|3 Current Account, the 1|2|3 Lite Current Account, the Everyday Current Account and the Choice Current Account.

Additional steps taken by Santander to support the broader community:

  • To support the NHS and other key workers, Santander Cycles in London are now free for use by NHS workers, police, social workers, care home workers and TfL critical workers. Docking stations closest to hospitals are prioritised, ensuring as many Cycles as possible are available to NHS workers.
  • The Santander Foundation has donated £1m to Age UK and Alzheimer’s Society to support some of the most vulnerable people in the community following the outbreak of COVID-19.

The information contained in our press releases is intended solely for journalists and should not be used by consumers to make financial decisions.

Santander UK is a financial services provider in the UK that offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. At 30 December 2019, the bank had around 23,500 employees and serves around 14 million active customers, via a nationwide branch network, telephone, mobile and online banking. Santander UK is subject to the full supervision of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) in the UK. Santander UK plc customers’ eligible deposits are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the UK. 

Banco Santander (SAN SM, STD US, BNC LN) is a leading retail and commercial bank, founded in 1857 and headquartered in Spain. It has a meaningful presence in 10 core markets in Europe and the Americas, and is one of the largest banks in the world by market capitalization. Its purpose is to help people and businesses prosper in a simple, personal and fair way. Santander is building a more responsible bank and has made a number of commitments to support this objective, including raising over €120 billion in green financing between 2019 and 2025, as well as financially empowering more than 10 million people over the same period. At the end of 2019, Banco Santander had EUR 1.05 trillion in total funds, 145 million customers, of which 21.6 million are loyal and 37 million are digital (52% of active customers), 12,000 branches and 200,000 employees. Banco Santander made underlying profit of EUR 8,252 million in 2019, an increase of 2% compared to the previous year.

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