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Banco Santander (SAN) to Shut UK Branches and Shift Headquarter

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As branch usage decreases drastically, Banco Santander, S.A. (SAN - Free Report) announced that it plans to permanently close more than 100 branches and shut regional offices in the U.K. Additionally, as part of an overhaul of its U.K. business, Banco Santander plans to shift headquarters from London to Milton Keynes and invest $205 million in constructing a campus there.

Also, offices in London, Manchester, and Newcastle will be closed. Then again, office space elsewhere in London and Newcastle will be reduced.

Notably, last year, due to the pandemic, branch visits declined by almost 50%. Thus, Banco Santander will likely shut 111 branches.

The company’s head of branches, Adam Bishop, stated, “Branch usage by customers has fallen considerably over recent years so we have made the difficult decision to consolidate our presence in areas where we have multiple branches relatively close together. The majority of the closing branches are within three miles of another branch and the furthest is five miles away.”

Post branch closures, the Spanish bank will be left with 452 branches.

Because of this move, nearly 840 jobs are being affected. Hence, the bank said that it is trying to find new jobs for “a significant number” of those affected.

Further, due to the closing of offices as well as a reduction in space, nearly 5,000 employees might get affected. Thus, the bank said that it would allow the affected employees to work remotely and use the new “local collaboration spaces”.

Nathan Bostock, chief executive of Santander U.K., said, “The pandemic has accelerated the existing trend towards greater flexible working, and our colleagues have told us this has brought significant benefits for many of them.”

Similar to Banco Santander, Lloyds Banking Group plc (LYG - Free Report) and HSBC Holdings plc (HSBC - Free Report) have announced plans of closing office space in the U.K. and moving to more flexible working patterns post the pandemic.

A company from the finance space worth considering is The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (GS - Free Report) . Its 2021 earnings estimates have increased over the past 60 days. The stock has gained more than 50% over the past six months.

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