•    From January 2023 Santander will remove the requirement for graduates to achieve a 2:1 degree level or above
•    The move will unlock opportunities for over 64,000 graduates a year and is expected to widen the social-economic background of recruits  
•    Santander is a Top 75 employer in the Social Mobility Foundation’s Employer Index 2022
•    Santander’s Graduate Programme opens for new applications in early January 2023

Santander has announced its decision to remove the 2:1 degree classification requirement from its Graduate Scheme from January 2023. The move reinforces the bank’s focus on a broad range of assessments to measure potential and is an acknowledgement that performance at university is not the only indicator of success in the workplace.   

Around 16% of students leaving university do not achieve a 2:1 or 1st class degree qualification. The change to entry criteria means over 64,000 more graduates are now able to apply for the Santander Graduate Programme. (1) 

The Santander Graduate Programme provides experience across a number of the bank’s functions including Audit, Corporate and Commercial Banking, Cyber, Everyday Banking, and Finance & Risk.(2) It benefits people starting out in their career by focusing on personal and professional development through mentorship from senior leaders and ongoing career coaching. New recruits are exposed to critical business projects and rotation across different business areas, with the opportunity for a permanent position upon completion.  

The application process begins in early January for the 2023 intake, and graduates can apply by registering for the bank’s talent community to receive notifications of when vacancies go live: Join our Talent Community (avature.net).

Anouska Ramsay - HR Director, Culture & Capability, at Santander said: “Academic achievement is important, but it is only one of many factors we look at when searching for new talent. We believe potential can be found anywhere and this move reinforces our commitment to finding the best candidates from a wide range of backgrounds. 

“We’ve won awards for our social mobility initiatives, and this is an important development to widen our recruitment criteria. Those that join us can expect to build a foundation for working in finance and grow their career path within the bank.”

Santander recently won two awards for social mobility and providing employees with opportunities to develop and progress their careers at Santander, the TIARA award for Best Early Careers Initiative and the Lord Mayor’s Dragon award for Advancing Socio-economic Diversity in Business. The bank has also been shortlisted at the UK Social Mobility (SoMo) Awards.

Santander is also ranked as one of the Top 75 employers in the Social Mobility Employer Index and is a founding member of Progress Together(3) – a membership body for UK financial services firms and the first of its kind focusing on progression, retention and socio-economic diversity.(4)

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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.

Notes to Editors 
1)    Out of 395,405 qualifications achieved in 2020/21, 64,040 did not achieve a 2:1 or 1st degree qualification. Higher Education Student Statistics: UK, 2020/21 - Qualifications achieved | HESA.
2)    All our graduate roles except for Corporate and Commercial Banking will be based in our brand new Milton Keynes office, although we offer flexible working conditions. Corporate and Commercial Banking have business centres across the UK and presence in our London office.
3)    More on Progress Together: Socio-Economic Diversity in Financial Services - Progress Together.
4)    More information on our graduate jobs can be found on our website: Graduate jobs at Santander Bank UK. 

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 2022, the bank had around 18,000 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 FCA and the PRA in the UK. Santander UK plc customers’ eligible deposits are protected by the FSCS in the UK.  
Banco Santander (SAN SM, STD US, BNC LN) is a leading commercial bank, founded in 1857 and headquartered in Spain. It has a meaningful presence in 10 core markets in the Europe, North America and South America regions, and is one of the largest banks in the world by market capitalization. Santander aims to be the best open financial services platform providing services to individuals, SMEs, corporates, financial institutions and governments. The bank’s 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 €220 billion in green financing between 2019 and 2030, as well as financially empowering more than 10 million people over the same period. At the end of the third quarter of 2022, Banco Santander had €1.2 trillion in total funds, 159 million customers, of which 27 million are loyal and 50 million are digital, 9,100 branches and 203,000 employees.