Santander filling void left by Lloyds agency pullout

Spanish banking giant Santander will be stepping into a void left by Lloyds TSB after its rival pulled out of nearly 90 rural and suburban Halifax agencies earlier in 2010.

The personal and business bank account provider has snapped up 88 of the abandoned Halifax locations.  Most common in remote communities without major banks, agencies are similar yet limited in comparison to branches.

Halifax recently shuttered its entire 265 agency network.  The banking facilities were located within the offices of solicitors, estate agents, or insurance agents.

An approximate 700,000 people made use of the Halifax locations in order to conduct banking business.  Industry experts feared that more far-flung and rural communities would be left without banking options in the wake of the shut down.

Santander has instead stepped in to fill the void for 88 of these agency locations.  The Spain-based bank will not transfer the accounts of Halifax customers.  Instead these accounts will remain with Halifax.

However new and existing Santander customers will be eligible to conduct full banking-related business at these agencies.  Many industry experts believe this will prove to be an incentive for Halifax customers to switch due to ease of use.

Santander spokesperson Brian Holland stated that the bank has a commitment to the development of its agency network. Since traditional bank branches are much less common in rural locations, Mr Holland stated that agencies are oftentimes crucial for rural community banking needs.

Santander declared that its existing network will integrate the 88 new agencies seamlessly.  This will be due to the confluence of the customer base, demographics, and location of the new agencies.

If the 250 agency locations of the banker are taken into account, Santander’s total figure for number of branches tops 1,400.

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