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Santander Becoming a Major Force in the UK Banking Sector

Banco Santander is one of the largest banking groups in the world with operations in Europe and the Americas. The group has a powerful presence in the territories in which it operates and the UK is no exception. Santander UK plc is a wholly-owned but separately capitalized subsidiary of Banco Santander. This case study shows how the Spanish giant has risen to a position of prominence in the UK banking sector.

Santander has established a significant presence in the UK predominantly through acquisition. The process began back in 2004 with the takeover of Abbey and continued with the crisis buyouts of Alliance & Leicester, Bradford & Bingley and the ongoing EU-mandated acquisition of the RBS retail network.

The bank has chosen to pursue a price/product led strategy rather than using quality of service as a differentiator and competitive advantage. Santander mortgages, credit cards, loans and interest bearing accounts are all among the most competitive on offer in the marketplace. Furthermore, the bank has utilized a highly visible and successful marketing campaign to make this known to potential new clients.

Santander remains primarily a retail bank with relatively little exposure to the areas of the financial markets most affected by recent market turmoil, particularly when compared with some of its peers. The management’s controlled risk appetite has allowed Santander to retain a strong balance sheet, something which has proved to be a vital competitive advantage as its competitors have struggled.

Find this interesting. You may also like Santander UK Case Study: Becoming a Major Force in the UK Banking Sector or our company report on Banco Santander

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