Borough branches of Santander spared amid large closure programme

The lender has announced plans to shut 111 branches this year but its Wigan and Leigh sites are not on the list.

Thursday, 25th March 2021, 10:08 am
The Wigan branch of Santander on Market Place

Santander said it was reacting to customers choosing to visit branches a lot less and huge increases in day-to-day banking being done online or using mobile or telephone systems.

This trend has been accelerated by the pandemic, the banking giant said.

Branch transactions fell by a third over the two years before the virus crisis and declined by a further 50 per cent in 2020.

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Branches across the country have been included in its 2021 closure programme, but the Wigan bank on Market Place and its Leigh premises on Bradshawgate have avoided the axe.

Santander said closing so many branches was a difficult decision but it was only doing so where customers had an alternative facility they could use within a few miles.

The closures will leave the bank with a network of 452 branches.

Adam Bishop, head of branches at Santander, said: “Branch usage by customers has fallen considerably over recent years so we have made the difficult decision to consolidate our presence in areas where we have multiple branches relatively close together.

“We will provide every support to customers of closing branches to find alternative ways to bank with us that best suit their individual needs.

“We are also working alongside our unions to support colleagues through these changes and to find alternative roles for those impacted wherever possible.

“We continue to believe that branches have an important role to play and we expect the size of our network to remain stable for the foreseeable future.”

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