Santander has confirmed it is cutting opening hours across hundreds of its UK branches as part of a huge shake-up.
The bank will be changing its weekday opening hours from 9:30am to 4:30pm to 9:30am to 3:00pm, Monday to Friday.
Customers will still be able to book appointments at the high street bank between 3pm and 5pm if they need support that cannot be provided earlier in the day.
A further 316 Santander branches will move from full day Saturday opening (9:30am to 4pm) to half day Saturday opening (9:30am to 12:30pm).
Again, customers will be able to make face-to-face appointments after branches shut, up until 4:00pm on Saturdays.
The new opening hours will come into effect from July 18.
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Santander says 76 of its branches will remain open under their current half day opening hours (9:30am to 12:30pm) only on a Saturday, while 58 branches will stay fully shut on a Saturday as they do now.
There will be no branch closures as part of these changes and all of Santander’s 450 branches will remain open every weekday.
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Santander says the change to opening hours "reflect a thorough review of when customers use" its branches.
The number of customers using Santander’s branches fell by 33% over the two years before the pandemic, a further 50% in 2020 and 12% in 2021. Digital transactions grew by around 20% in each of these years.
Richard Owen, Head of Branches at Santander said: “These changes will enable us to maintain our existing branch network while providing significant additional capacity to help customers who want to talk to us by phone.
“We have seen a continuing reduction in branch usage over several years, both before and since the peak of the pandemic, with many customers preferring to transact digitally or contact us by phone.
“We want to make sure we have the right mix of channels to help our customers however they choose to bank with us.”
Santander will write to its regular branch customers from April 21 to explain the new opening hours.
Last year, Santander accidentally paid out £130million to thousands of individuals and businesses on Christmas Day in a huge blunder.
Around 75,000 people and companies had money mistakenly deposited by the high street bank on December 25.
The mistake happened after one-off and regular payments were made twice in error from 2,000 business accounts.
Payments included wages or money from suppliers, with the money being sent to account holders at Barclays, HSBC, NatWest, Co-operative Bank and Virgin Money.