Santander to launch no-fee current account

ABBEY-OWNER Santander yesterday unveiled plans to bring a no-fees current account to the UK, as it ups its bid to take on the big four high street banks.<br /><br />The Santander Current Account &ndash; which will have no account, overdraft or overseas withdrawal charges &ndash; will only be available to customers who take out a mortgage with Santander, a move it hopes will also grow its already sizeable share of the mortgage market.<br /><br />It&rsquo;s launch will coincide with the rebranding of over 1,000 Abbey and Bradford &amp; Bingley branches in January 2010.<br /><br />Santander, which has a 13.5 per cent share of the mortgage market, is hoping its 2m customers will convert its current accounts. It already has 400,000 mortgage customers which bank with it across its Alliance &amp; Leicester, Abbey and Bradford &amp; Bingley brands.<br /><br />The Spanish-owned bank denied the announcement had been timed to coincide with next week&rsquo;s ruling by the Supreme Court on a case about the fairness of overdraft charges. The case, against eight banks, was brought by the Office of Fair Trading and could pave the way for compensation claims from millions of customers.