Santander’s recovery in the past couple of years has been one of the most successful brand building exercises of recent times.
The latest available official figures for bank account switching show that it is expanding is customer base more rapidly than any other current account provider.
YouGov is to publish a white paper looking at the current state of UK retail banking, focusing on how well providers from building society backgrounds are doing now.
Santander’s success is chiefly down to two things – its easily understandable 1|2|3 account and its well-positioned advertising.
The success of its PR is evident in our figures over the past two years. Santander has consistently enjoyed the highest advertising awareness scores among its rivals.
Neither Halifax nor Nationwide have overtaken it over the past 18 months. Its Recommend scores – where consumers are asked whether they would recommend a brand to a friend or tell them to avoid it – have increased from around minus eight to around three.
Its Index score has moved significantly – from minus 5.1 in January 2014 to 4.6 now. The average for the traditional banks over this time frame is minus 5.3. Despite its success, questions remain about the sustainability of the push – especially in light of its recent announcement that it is raising the fee on its flagship 1|2|3 account.
Although we don’t know how this will affect the brand, Santander’s product has already had a major impact on retail banking in the UK.