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Considered the second largest bank for mortgages, Santander UK is a subsidiary of the Spanish-based Santander Group. Although it is one of the larger traditional banks, Santander has developed a reputation for poor customer service. Add this fact to a credit rating downgrade in 2011 and clients have a ticking time bomb. Online client reviews of the bank’s currency exchange report slow transfers and bad exchange rates. Depending on the branch, some personal currency transfers cannot be inquired about until up to ten days later.
History of the Bank
Santander UK was created in 2004 after the Spanish headquarters bought out Abbey National. After this date, it took until 2010 for the bank to be renamed as Santander UK. Headquarters in London were located at triton Square. As the new division of Santander expanded its reach, it branched out into new financial services and bought out other banks. By the time 2010 ended, the bank possessed more than 1,300 different branches. The parent company of Santander UK started in 1857.
Making a transfer with this company is cost prohibitive and can take an exceptional amount of time. If clients are traveling abroad, they should consider just using their bank-issued debit card. Santander does not charge its customers fees for using ATMs that are within the Santander network. As long as clients travel near a Santander ATM, they will not need to pay a fee to access their money.
Sending Payments Overseas
Users who want to transfer money abroad need to send an international payment. Any payments sent must be done from a Santander branch. To prove their identity, clients must bring their bank-issued debit card and show some form of valid identification.
Unlike other companies, Santander does not have a live display of currency exchange rates. In addition, the bank does not allow users to send payments online and only offers a total of 13 different currencies. If a payment needs to be sent, the individual must already be a client at the bank. If the client elects to send sterling, it may not be accepted by the receiving bank. If it is accepted, a fee may be charged for it. These payments will typically take around five days to be received.
Overall, the experience with Santander seems to be a poor one. The staff is inexperienced in foreign exchanges and the entire process is slow. The only benefit to using the bank is the person-to-person interaction, but customers have reported unfriendly staff members. To get a better exchange rate and faster experience, clients should visit a Forex broker who only deals with currency transfers.