Santander UK introduces temporary new measures across overdrafts, loans and credit cards to support customers during Coronavirus outbreak


  • Automatic £500 interest waiver for all customers with arranged overdrafts - no requirement to apply
  • A discounted arranged overdraft rate of 19.9% (from standard rate of 39.9%)1
  • Payment holidays on personal loans and credit cards for those impacted by Covid-19, with simple online application forms
  • New changes are in addition to a  package of measures2 already introduced by Santander

Santander UK has today announced a new range of measures that will provide additional financial support to customers facing financial difficulties as a result of Coronavirus. In addition to support previously introduced, the bank will be making changes to its overdrafts, personal loans and credit cards over the next few days.

Overdraft changes will be applied automatically to customers’ accounts. Customers seeking payment holidays on personal loans or credit cards can do so via a simple online form to ensure that phone lines are kept free for those who need urgent telephone support during this time.

OVERDRAFT INTEREST WAIVER: Santander UK will automatically waive the interest on the first £500 of any arranged overdraft used between 6 April and 9 July. This is an increase to the £350 buffer previously communicated on 30 March (that would have been effective from 6 April) and will apply to all customers with an arranged overdraft. 

OVERDRAFT INTEREST RATE: From 6 April until 9 July Santander UK will introduce a temporary discount on standard overdraft interest rates to 19.9%1.  This means that all Santander overdraft customers will pay less than they currently do. From 6 April, unarranged and paid item fees (unpaid item fees were removed in December) will also be removed, as planned.

CREDIT CARDS: From 6 April, customers who are temporarily impacted by Covid-19 and who were up-to-date with their repayments before Covid-19 impacted can apply for a payment holiday on their credit card of up to three months via a simple online application form. 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. This is in addition to the removal of fees for late payments and cash advances on credit cards, introduced on 30 March. Unfortunately, customers who have missed a payment on their credit card can’t apply for a payment holiday using the online application form at the moment. We’re reviewing this process to find a solution and will update our website soon with more information. In the meantime, customers who have missed a payment should visit our online Money Worries pages for further help.

UNSECURED PERSONAL LOANS: From 8 April, customers who are temporarily impacted by Covid-19, this includes customers who have recently missed payments, can apply for a payment holiday of up to three-months via a simple online application form.  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.

The changes are in addition to a package of measures2 that have already been put in place by Santander including: online forms for payment holidays on mortgages; penalty-free immediate access to fixed term savings; a regularly updated dedicated website with tips and resources and; a coronavirus helpline for customers who are unable to reach the bank via online or mobile channels.

Alongside this the bank has developed new and improved online chat services3 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 can provide answers to a wide range of questions and keep the phone lines free for those most in need. 

Susan Allen, CEO Retail and Business Banking, Santander UK, said: “As the situation with the Coronavirus develops we will continue to review the support we can offer our customers. We are very pleased to be announcing these new measures today and hope that they will provide additional help for customers who are facing financial pressures at this time.

“Alongside the product support we are offering, we are also working very hard behind the scenes to re-train staff and update our online chat facilities to ensure that customers can get the help they need and can access the support on offer online, leaving our phone lines free for those most in need of urgent help.”

Customers who do not have access to the internet can apply for the same support by contacting Santander’s dedicated Coronavirus helpline (0800 01 56 382). Customers are urged to only call if absolutely necessary.  

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Editors Notes:

1) As part of HCCR reforms Santander UK had announced interest rates of 39.9% EAR (for most customers) due to be introduced on 6 April.  These will now be temporarily set at 19.9% EAR between 6 April and 9 July. After this period, the temporary measures will be removed and standard arranged overdraft rates will apply.

2) Support measures already in place:
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, more information is available on our website.

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 service: 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.

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.

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.