Abbey and Bradford & Bingley will be known as Santander from today, as the Spanish bank's rebranding gathers pace.
Following Santander's takeover of Abbey in 2004 and Bradford & Bingley in 2008, from Monday both banks will operate under the name Santander, while Alliance & Leicester – also part of the same bank, will be rebranded later this year.
Santander has reassured customers that whilst changing signs, posters and leaflets in its branches will take time, it aims to "complete the necessary changes as quickly and smoothly as possible".
Welcoming the change, Andrew Hagger, spokesman for Moneynet.co.uk said: "Whilst some customers may find losing the familiar name tag of Bradford & Bingley or Abbey a little unsettling, I don’t think they’ve got too much to worry about.
"Santander is a global bank with a prudent track record and has been able to concentrate on business as usual whilst some competitors were distracted by the bank bailout fiasco last year."
The new combined bank will have over 25 million customers in the UK, which Mr Hagger believes will create "a major financial force" that is capable of competing with some of the more established banks in the UK.
"For many years both Abbey and Alliance and Leicester have been extremely competitive in the current account and personal loan sectors and there’s no reason that this rebrand should see that competitive edge diminish," he said.
Reassuring people who may be concerned about a lack of competition as three high street banks become one during 2010, Mr Hagger added: "With the prospect of some new providers entering the fray, possibly as soon as later this year (e.g. Virgin Bank, Tesco Bank, Metro Bank etc) the Spanish giant can’t afford to become complacent or reduce the competitiveness of its product pricing."
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