Santander are taking over RBS's branch network - what difference will it make if you're one of the 1.8 million customers that will be affected?
The RBS/Santander branch sale has now collapsed, you can read in detail how this will affect you banking by reading our guide: The Collapse of the RBS Sale to Santander for more information.
Santander UK’s planned branch takeover of Natwest and RBS is yet to happen, but the issues currently facing the Eurozone and Spanish banking in particular have led to questions about any potential knock on effect for customers.
First, it is important to remember that although RBS branches (in England and Wales) and Natwest branches (Scotland) are changing to Santander, not all accounts are following. Your account(s) only stand to be transferred to Santander if you are a branch-based RBS or Natwest customer.
If, for example, you opened your Natwest account online then you shouldn’t be affected. You can also opt to keep an account with either RBS or Natwest by relocating it to a branch that’s not part of the takeover.
However, Santander’s recent downgrading by ratings agency Moody’s has led to concerns from customers whose accounts are set to eventually be transferred. So, will your money be safe?
In short, Santander UK should be unaffected by the ongoing problems in Spain. This is because Santander UK has ensured its capital is ringfenced here in the UK: the bank would have to seek permission from the FSA before it could be used to help its Spanish parent.
Plus, your total money held in Santander UK (including former Abbey National, Alliance & Leicester and Cahoot accounts) is protected up to £85,000 per person, under the FSCS. As the takeover is of branches only, RBS and Natwest retain their own independent FSCS licenses.
If you have any questions about the Santander – RBS branch takeover, visit the Royal Bank of Scotland or Natwest website. You can still read our original guide for information on how the takeover will affect you, below:
Santander are increasing their presence on the British High Street once again - this time it's the RBS branch network that they've set their sights on.
Within the next 12-18 months the RBS branch network in England and Wales will be taken over by Spanish banking giant Santander. In Scotland, it's Natwest branches that will be switching from blue to red.
Providing it all gets the go-ahead (which at the moment looks very likely) all 311 RBS branches in England and Wales will have been rebranded to Santander by December 2011, as will the 7 Natwest branches in Scotland.
However, the Natwest branch network in England and Wales, and all RBS branches in Scotland will remain unaffected.
When the Royal Bank of Scotland received their multi-billion pound bail-out from the Government, they were forced to agree to the sale of part of their branch network in order to comply with competition laws.
Santander had been tipped as the most likely candidate but details of the sale have only been confirmed, and announced, this week.
Firstly, if you hold accounts with Natwest in England or Wales, or RBS in Scotland, you will not be at all affected by this takeover - your banking will still remain with the RBS Group.
However, if you hold branch-based accounts with RBS in England or Wales, or Natwest in Scotland, you will - at some point in the next 18 months - see your banking transferred to Santander.
Credit cards, insurance, investments and RBS shares will not be affected by the branch network sale.
If you hold accounts with RBS branches both in England or Wales and in Scotland, you'll find that your Scottish-based accounts won't be affected by the sale, but your accounts based in branches in England or Wales will, as such they will be rebranded to Santander accordingly.
If you hold online-only accounts it doesn't look like you will be affected by the sale as it is only branch-based RBS (England & Wales) and Natwest (Scotland) accounts that are being sold to Santander.
At the moment it's business as usual, however, once the sale and switch is complete your local RBS (England & Wales) or Natwest (Scotland) branch will be rebranded to Santander.
Your account numbers and sort codes will remain the same throughout the transition and you will still be able to use existing debit cards and cheque books accordingly. The interest rates, fees and terms and conditions applied to your financial products will also be upheld until the switchover is complete.
That said, neither RBS or Santander are able to offer anything in the way of a guarantee on rates, products or fees after the sale is complete so it's going to be a case of 'wait and see' if you're an existing customer.
If you know your sort code you can use the Santander-sale branch search on the RBS website to find out definitively whether your local branch is going to be affected or call their Branch Sale Helpline on 0800 210 0214. Contacting your local branch directly is another way to find out how things stand.
For the moment, if you're happy with the financial products that you have with RBS and/or Natwest then you don't need to do anything but keep an eye on their competitiveness.
You'll be informed in writing of any significant changes to your account terms and conditions as the sale completes, but this shouldn't be for at least 12 months.
With Santander already trading through the former Abbey plus Alliance and Leicester and Bradford and Bingley what does this say for competition when you add the R.B.S. branches in England and Wales and the Nat.West .in Scotland. This does not seem to be of benefit to the customer.
Thanks this is a good guide that exxplains the position clearly. Funny how the news doesn't report this acquisition as good news though. I assume that it is good news for the country. My understanding is that it is exactly what we need and what the markets have been waiting for - namely institutions (in this case RBS) who have been bailed out to pay the Government back. I assume this is what will happen: RBS gets paid and then it pays the Government. If I am correct why is that not explained in the guide?
It's strange that natwest have started moving people's money in dormant accounts into one of there own waiting for people to get in contact to reclaim the money but are not notifying that they are doing this only sending out bank statements stating the account is closed........if not claimed where's it going???????? i think rbs/natwest are in more financial trouble than we are lead to know or is it a sweetener for santander
I have been with RBS since the days of William & Glynns, and I am not happy with being forced to move to Santander, it is not right, and customers should be given more information by RBS about staying with them. Thanks to the poster below who gives the number to call to transfer from an english RBS branch to a scottish one, thus avoiding this abitrary grab of my money!
Santander is a good bank with convient opening and closing times, for example the one in my Town Centre open's 9am till 5pm Monday to Friday and 9am till 4pm on Saturday and I belive that is convienience Banking. There Internet Banking is great also the staff inside the bank are great (Could imporve waiting times) They make sure all there customers are okay and the staff inside are as helpful as they can be, I lost my card and the bank was great at ordering me a new one and they was happy to do that. I resive a letter headed bank statment every months and 80% time its around the same time.
I think Santander's call centre's could improve with the staff understanding there customers and be more polite, but everyone can improve.
Also I think Santander is a strong bank and a cheaper bank to be in. And Santander is acutally saving RBS really and releving the tax payers. Least Santander are not part goverment owned.
Makes me angry seeing Chef Executive of RBS getting 6 million in bounuses and its the UK tax payer who is keeping RBS open till Santander takes it.
THANK YOU FOR READING! HOPE THIS HAS HELPED :D
If like me, you're an RBS customer and don't want your accounts moved to Santander, simply ask RBS for a form to transfer your account(s) to a Scottish branch. The branch staff are not allowed to advise you of this facility under the terms of the sale to Santander. As I only visit my branch to pay in (which can be done anywhere) I do not anticipate any problems with having my home branch in Scotland.
I have been with RBS since 1968 and was never told anything about this buy out officially or unoffically. Admittedly I live overseas but finding out by a casual almost throw away comment from a senior clerk was a bomb shell. Also, numerous RBS customers have been greatly inconvenienced by RBS changing its sort code and telling its customers to do nothing. Doing nothing turned out not to be an option and Barclaycard refused to honour the standing monthly automatic payment scheme, leaving customers in a difficult tansition period which took overseas customers a long time to sort out. I am dreading seeing the back of RBS after such a long time as I have no business connection with the Spanish bank at all. God help us old crumblies.
My first thought was that I would ask for my account to be transferred to a Scottish branch, until I was told that my account number and sort code would be unchanged with Santander.
So, apathy rules as I know how many letters I would have to write if these details changed!
I have been with RBS since before they became RBS....way back in the days of Williams and Glynns Bank. I have never had a single problem in my dealings with the bank but due to Santanders repeated attacks on me and its efforts to change my terms i am very seriously considering moving my accounts elsewhere. I have always been in the black and I understand that I am considered a good customer with a decent rating by RBS. Santander on the other hand appear to be conducting a vendetta upon me.......really living up to their reputation.
Well today is the first day of having to log onto digital banking with the new santander and guess what...it doesn't work. Not a good start ,its no secret that santander is no 1 in the banking complaints list , am looking for a new bank account first thing.
Also how can this all go ahead when this week the bank was downgraided across europe ?
I can confirm that the new Santander digital banking login does not work. I just called them and was told that some customers are experiencing problems. That is all of them then!? What a shambles. Guess they never heard the phrase what isn't broke doesn't need fixing. I am ready to switch banks.
Same! I run 2 business accounts through RBS. Mananged to log onto one at 7am but when I trued the other one it just keeps sending me round in circles. I've dug out the letter I received last week and have rung the new halpline number - automated message says this service isn't available and redirects me (after telling me to make a note of the correct number to use in the future - and that number is exactly the same as the old one on the RBS website). I then get an automated message saying the service is temporarily unavailable. Can't get to talk to anyone! Absolutely useless - could have guessed this would happen. Think I may well be moving Bank!
Juding by the timeline when this was announced... it seems I've been quite out of touch, as I've only just discovered this through logging on to my internet banking today!!
There has been absolutely no contact from RBS to me regarding this (and yes, they have my address), when I first saw the re-direct, I thought it was a phishing site somehow residing at the RBS online banking website.
I don't understand how they can do this... I have not consented to any such switch & have not consented to RBS sharing my most important details with their competitor. Surely this must break the Data Protection Act?
Like others here, I've only just found out about the switch today after logging in to internet banking. I've been living abroad for the past nine years and have had letters from NatWest / RBS at regular intervals but nothing to tell me about the change to Santander. This wouldn't be so bad if there had been a clear statement of what was happening on their website but I don't recall seeing a thing.
After one successful login this morning, I tried to access my main account again and got thrown around in circles for about half an hour. I'd just made a significant transfer of money and got a cold sinking feeling - I really thought I'd been taken in by some kind of phishing scam.
I don't understand the logic of what's happening. A bank account I opened over 35 years ago in London is not being transferred to Santander yet the main account I had set up in Aberdeen *is* being transferred. From what I've read so far, it should be the other way around? Very confusing and no more instant transfers between accounts when needed.
Unavailable helpline, lack of communication, poor website transition... this is shoddy treatment. Will be changing bank at earliest opportunity.
And so in not Santander a spanish bank. ? Oh look whoops http://www.google.co.uk/webhp?rlz=1C1GGGE_en-GBGB385GB385&sourceid=chrome-instant&ie=UTF-8&ion=1#q=spanish+banks&hl=en&rlz=1C1GGGE_en-GBGB385GB385&prmd=imvnsu&source=univ&tbm=nws&tbo=u&sa=X&ei=DQnAT_feI5OV0QXBx5iuCg&ved=0CC8QqAI&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=be3465e3b12acaf8&ion=1&biw=1920&bih=979
FUN FUN FUN
Iam very unhappy about the switchover i was not for warned or given a option to opt out.Also it means my money that usually gets paid in at 2.15am on a friday now wont be paid in untill monday.This is a huge inconvenience for me and messes up all my finances rent usually paid on saturday alongside other bills.If i could change banks i would but that would mean spending more money i dont have on a passport for id.I already tried to move to another bank and was told i didnt have enough id as my passport was out of date.Iam very annoyed at the lack of information available to those who will be effected is all i know is we will be effected.Yes but how will we be effected apart from deeys in money going into the bank?
Actually I was informed this evening 28th May 2012 that all Natwest Accounts with the sort code ending in 77 have all been transferred to Santander, regardless whether you opened the account online or not. How did I find this out, I tried to use my account card at a local supermarket to find it didn't work. I then returned home to logon and couldn't, so I telephoned NatWest and they informed me that indeed my account had moved across... AND I now have to wait until the morning to discuss with an account handler...
David, Feline - your digital banking login customer number, security number and password will all remain the same. Yes, you're right, the s/code will change but your account number may remain the same if nobody at the branch you are transferring to has the same number. Remember it is possible for two customers of different branches to have the same account number (in theory anyway) because the thing that identifies and makes a customer unique is the account number AND the s/code. I have only recently applied to transfer my account and have received Edinburgh's confirmation that they have received my form. May take a few weeks for them to complete, but as soon as my transfer is completed I will let you know on this forum.
I've now read all the comments on here and I see that peter91 had a very smooth transfer of his account to a Scottish branch which is good to know, and I'm looking forward to confirmation that mine has been transferred to Edinburgh.
With RBS there are two sides to the coin. There was Fred Goodwin and his cohorts who were completely reckless, with illusions of grandeur, and it was they who engineered the downfall of the bank through their stupidity and greed. On the other hand there are the branch staff at all the branches around the UK, who have always been excellent with a great attitude towards customer service and a culture of striving to be the best. It's the same at NatWest who are part of the RBS group, they have the same culture. Unfortunately many other banks, including Santander, just cannot live up to this standard of customer service. Yes, Santander is a huge, solid, highly capitalised bank, with good senior management who don't run stupid risks, but the customer service at the branches is not in the same league as RBS/NatWest, particularly since Santander took over Alliance & Leicester and Abbey National. They're still trying to integrate those different cultures into Santander and it has resulted in a poorer customer experience, and I suspect it will get worse after the takeover of RBS branches, before it gets better, if it does get better.
With the government/taxpayer owning a very large part of RBS now, and with the new senior management gradually getting the bank out of debt, it is I feel a more secure bank to be with than any others in the UK right now. It could never be allowed to fail now that the government has invested such a huge amount of our money into it.
So - two reasons for staying with RBS, even though it means transferring my account to Edinburgh (I live in the Midlands!) Firstly, it is now propped up by UK plc and will not under any circumstances be allowed to fail, and secondly it's standards of customer service cannot be beaten. When all the England and Wales branches have been taken over by Santander and what remains is a smaller branch structure concentrated entirely in Scotland, it may get even better.
Reference transferring my account to Edinburgh branch from an English branch, I have received RBS's confirmation that they have got my form and are dealing with it. I now once again login to Digital banking via the original website (rbs.co.uk) whereas they had changed my account so that I could only login on the new one (rbs.co.uk/santander). So that's a further indication that they have "ring-fenced" my account to prevent it being taken over by Santander.
Normally transferring an account from one branch to another would happen very quickly, but because of the Santander takeover they are having to check all transfer requests carefully, and I would imagine that they are also having to deal with a much large number of transfer requests than normal from customers based in England who want to transfer to Scotland.
Hi Peter, Thanks for the above. I did not know that the FSCS had been increased to 85K. The problem with living on the other side of the world is we don't get papers and often miss the news in English. How many other important events have I missed in the last few weeks? Jeez.... I agree with you about it being unlikely that the banks will collapse in the UK but after watching that great docu/movie Too Big To Fail I'm all jittery. I assume that the FSCS registration number is the same for both RBS and NatWest and RBS International now. That could be really important.
I have been trying to move an RBS business account to Eyemouth branch in Scotland but this appears to be blocked!!!!! No one can tell me when it will transfer!!!
Account is currently in Doncaster. Joint account has transferred and it is very inconvenient having business account in Doncaster.
I view this as unnecessary delay.
Have no decided to take control and move to a different English bank.
I have an RBS account in Lincoln and confirm that I received no previous information regarding the Santander "Buyout" prior to seeing their name appear on the Login page for internet banking. Today I rang RBS Lincoln and asked about transferring my account to Scotland. I was told this would not be possible.
I should point out that I live in Portugal but my enquiry did not reach the stage where this became relavant.
I want nothing to do with Santader - UK or otherwise. I've banked with RBS (and previously Williams Deacon's and Williams and Glyn's) since 1968 and the customer service has been exemplary. So - I'm switching from a London branch of RBS to one in Dumfries. Easy-peasy. RBS personnel are not allowed to encourage customers to make this switch but it is simple to arrange. I get the feeling that thousands of England-based accounts will head north of the border.
You say credit cards are not included in the transfer but by 30 odd year private Natwest MC is transfering with my 5 yera old Natwest online business account. My branch doesn't know why, so I raised a case with the Branch Sale Help desk and the reply I received which I now have in writting is, " If you hold at least one account of any kind transferring to Stantander and also hold a specific NatWest credit card this will transfer to Stantander". During the whole process this is the first time I have heard about this and gives no time to make any changes, is it time I contacted the Ombudsman.
I moved to Santander years ago because NatWest wouldnt accept a large cheque from me because I banked at another NatWest Branch. i suddenly discovered that you can earn interest on your Current Account, hadnt had a penny from NatWest in 20 years. The Santander 123 Current account does what it says on the tin and for the last two months i have received over £25 interest (after TAX). Shouldnt be afraid of the Red Santander they are agreat bank
If a person has monies deposited in lets say Santander, Abbey National, Alliance & Leicester and other accounts, all being owned by the parent company Santander UK is each individual account protected up to £85,000 per account, or will the saver only get one lump sum of £85,000.00 if he/she holds lets say £90,000.00 in each SEPERATE account. Due to the fact that Santander UK is ONE company ??
As a Scottish RBS customer I have nothing but praise for RBS. I have both business and private accounts and a mortgage with them. I am also a Santander account holder in Spain, works fine there, but of course in Spain it is a long established bank, not a jumped up building society. However, if I was resident in England I would have one primary concern. Given the continuing hash that Westminster is making of running things from their London centric base the likelyhood of a yes vote in the independance referundum grows daily. We already know that the banks penalise customers heavily for cross border transfers, even in the same currency. It's a scam of course, as electronic transfers are no more expensive to effect from across the road or across the EU. So, English residents should consider that in the event of Scottish independance, they may face additional charges if they have an account in Scotland. Jst a thought !!