San­tander plans dig­i­tal fight­back with on­line bank

The Sunday Telegraph - Money & Business - - Business - By Iain Withers

BANK­ING gi­ant San­tander is work­ing on plans to launch a stand-alone dig­i­tal bank in the UK, fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of RBS.

The Span­ish-owned lender is gear­ing up to launch a busi­ness bank­ing ser­vice un­der a sep­a­rate brand within months, amid in­ten­si­fy­ing com­pe­ti­tion in the mar­ket.

San­tander is also con­sid­er­ing whether to bring its dig­i­tal lend­ing ser­vice Open­bank to the UK, which al­ready boasts 1.3m cus­tomers in Spain.

The busi­ness bank­ing ven­ture will be fo­cused on small com­pa­nies and it is un­der­stood it will of­fer a range of ser­vices be­yond tra­di­tional lend­ing, in­clud­ing help with pay­rolls and pen­sions. It comes as smaller banks jockey for an £833m fund carved out of RBS to boost com­pe­ti­tion in busi­ness bank­ing. San­tander has con­tro­ver­sially been allowed to bid for it, de­spite be­ing sev­eral times larger than the next near­est chal­lengers TSB and CYBG.

San­tander and RBS are adopt­ing sim­i­lar strate­gies for com­pet­ing with the threat posed by the rapid ex­pan­sion of on­line com­peti­tors such as Monzo and Tan­dem, by build­ing up “flanker” brands in the hope of at­tract­ing younger tech-savvy cus­tomers.

In a strat­egy up­date in Oc­to­ber, the San­tander Group set out plans to de­velop four “speed­boat” dig­i­tal firms run by in­de­pen­dent CEOS, in­clud­ing Open­bank and the busi­ness bank­ing ser­vice, which The Sun­day Tele­graph has learned will be based in the UK.

A spokesman for San­tander said: “We are work­ing on a project to build an open dig­i­tal fi­nan­cial ser­vices plat­form for SMES We look for­ward to shar­ing more about the plat­form soon.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.