Santander UK extends temporary measures across secured and unsecured credit to continue to support customers during Coronavirus

  • Payment holidays and payment holiday extensions of up to a total of six months on mortgages, credit cards and personal loans in line with FCA guidance
  • £500 interest waiver for customers with arranged overdrafts and a discounted arranged overdraft rate of 19.9% (from standard rate of 39.9%)
  • Continued waiver of fees for late payments on credit cards
  • All measures accessible via simple online application forms
  • Hundreds of new staff trained to support customers facing financial difficulties

Santander UK has today announced measures to provide additional financial support to customers facing financial difficulties as a result of Coronavirus. In addition to the extended payment holiday support outlined by guidance from the FCA, the bank will continue to support with overdrafts and a waiver of fees on its credit cards.  It has also recruited over 200 staff to help customers facing financial difficulties at this time.

MORTGAGES: in line with the guidance from the FCA, Santander will continue to offer customers mortgage payment holidays until 31 March 2021.  New applications for payment holidays can be made along with extensions or second1 holidays up to a total of six months. These measures will cover buy-to-let as well as residential mortgages and will not impact a customer’s credit file. 

Santander has also committed not to carry out any repossession activity without a customer’s consent before 31 January 2021.

CREDIT CARDS: until 31 March 2021, customers who are up-to-date with their repayments can apply for a payment holiday on their credit card of up to three months and those who have already taken a payment holiday can extend or take a second1 holiday up to a total of six months. The repayment holiday will not impact a customer’s credit file and customers will continue on the same account terms, including any promotional 0% interest-free period, after the payment holiday.

Customers will also continue to be eligible for the removal of fees for late payments on credit cards, a measure introduced earlier in the year to support those needing additional financial flexibility at this time.

UNSECURED PERSONAL LOANS: until 31 March 2021, customers who are up-to-date with their repayments and are temporarily impacted by Covid-19 can apply for a payment holiday of up to three-months on a personal loan.  Those who have already taken a payment holiday can extend or take a second1 holiday of up to six months. The repayment holiday will not impact a customer’s credit file and after the payment holiday finishes the monthly repayment will start again for an extended period of time.  Customers in arrears are not eligible to take out a new payment holiday or extend an existing one.

OVERDRAFTS: until 31 January 2021, customers who are temporarily impacted by Covid-19 and have an arranged overdraft can request a waiver of the first £500 interest charges, and a discount rate of 19.9% (standard rate is 39.9%) for three months.  The three month support can be requested only once in addition to the automatic provision that was applied to all customers with an arranged overdraft between 6 April and 9 July 20202.

All of Santander’s support measures can be accessed online but for customers with no access to the internet the same support can be provided by contacting Santander’s dedicated Coronavirus helpline (0800 01 56 382). 

Susan Allen, CEO Retail and Business Banking, Santander UK, said: “As we continue to see covid impact the finances of many of our customers, we are absolutely focused on making sure we are able to provide them with the right support. We are pleased to be offering continued payment holidays and an extension of our overdraft measures. On top of this, we are also able to offer customers a range of tailored support, providing the help and guidance customers need to understand and manage their finances during this very difficult time.”

The support outlined by Santander today is in addition to a number of measures the bank has put in place which includes:

  • Recruitment and training of hundreds of colleagues to help customers who get in touch in need of financial support;
  • Tailored, individual solutions for customers where appropriate, for example consolidation of debt or extension of mortgage terms;
  • New and extensive chat services3 to provide online support to customers (keeping the phone lines free for those in most urgent need). The chat service can be accessed from the Santander website, mobile app and online banking;
  • An outreach programme undertaken by branch colleagues to contact vulnerable customers and proactively offer support;
  • A bespoke Coronavirus web page providing useful guidance including accessing support and avoiding fraud alongside updated information on the bank’s Money Worries pages to help customers with additional budgeting and money management guidance and tools;
  • A dedicated customer support number for those in need of urgent financial assistance – 0800 01 56 382; and
  • Immediate access to fixed term savings accounts without penalties, including fixed rate bonds and fixed rate ISAS.

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

Editor’s notes:

1) Customers who have already taken a holiday, returned to paying but then feel they need additional help can apply for a second holiday.
2) From 6 April until 9 July Santander UK introduced for all arranged overdraft customers an automatic, temporary discount on standard overdraft interest rates to 19.9%1 and a waiver of fees the interest on the first £500 of any arranged overdraft.  Since 9 July customers have been eligible to request an additional three months support.
3) 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.

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 June 2020, the bank had around 23,000 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 the first half of 2020, Banco Santander had more than a trillion euros in total funds, 146 million customers, of which 21.5 million are loyal and 40 million are digital, 11,800 branches and 194,000 employees.