Welcome to the High Street, Santander

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TOOTING BEC — I have just seen my first ‘Santander’ sign on a high street: in Balham. The plastic signs have been covering new ones for a few weeks now. You might have noticed. They even said ‘temporary sign’ down in the corner.

Monday is the official day of change. And the TV commercials start Monday morning. It’ll be an exciting change, I think.

There are surely some people who will lament ‘foreign’ ownership of such a big piece of the High Street. [In fact the Sunday Times has done so today…] But they are the same people who would never bank with the Royal Bank of Scotland for the same reason. Bless ’em.

There are over 20,000 people in the United Kingdom who now work for Santander. 1,000s of branches and many, many account holders. The bank has beaten all other contenders on things like mortgages while known as Abbey (and B&B, and A&L) so clearly people like what they’re doing.

There is plenty of room for more plurality in our villages and towns. Watch to see if Santander doesn’t do what Zara, Aldo, Manchester United FC and Uniqlo have done before it… Improve competition and quality for consumers.

Bring it on.


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One Response

  1. Mike Klein

    From my experience living and working in the UK, the Brits (and particularly the English) are a funny lot when it comes to xenophobia and, for lack of a better term, xenophilia. Yeah, the Abbey-Santander rebranding may make “Little Englanders” cringe, but many of those folks will cring, go to the pub, and order a Stella or a Budweiser.

    As you say, the British high street is chock full of foreign/international brands. Santander is branding in the right places–particularly in F1. The name Santander also doesn’t sound “that foreign”–no stray vowels at the end. 🙂

    Also, it’s rich that The Sunday Times piped in. Where is Rupert Murdoch from? Surely not anywhere near Bow Bells.

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