Profits boom as Santander UK wins seven-day switching war

 
Tim Wallace
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Ana Botin moved to head the group in September
Santander UK has converted its flood of new current account customers into a strong rise in profits, yesterday reporting an improvement across all its business lines.

Profits rose 26 per cent to £1.4bn for 2014, as the number of current account customers rose from 2.1m to 3.3m – Santander gained one quarter of all customers who used the seven-day switching service.

The increase in customers helped push retail deposits up from £27.9bn to £41.1bn.

The bank said it is also making progress on customer service – traditionally seen as one of the brand’s weak points.

Retail complaints are down to 38 per cent of their 2012 level, and the bank’s customers are reporting satisfaction levels which are almost on a par with industry leaders.

However, some problems still remain. It had to set aside an additional £95m to cover PPI mis-selling compensation claims last year, and believes the scandal will go on for longer than previously thought.

UK chief Nathan Bostock took over from Ana Botin in September, as she inherited her father’s position at the top of Santander Group.

Globally the bank also performed strongly, recording profits of €5.8bn (£4.4bn) in 2014, a rise of 39 per cent on the year.

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