Santander moves its call centres to the UK

Santander is moving all of its Indian call centres back to the UK, following a raft of complaints about the bank's customer service.

The Spanish banking giant has repeatedly come under criticism for its lack of good customer service, being voted the worst overall provider for two consecutive years in the Moneywise Customer Service Awards.

Ana Botin, chief executive officer of Santander UK, says improving the bank's service is her "top priority", adding: "Our customers tell us they prefer our call centres to be in the UK and not offshore. We have listened to the feedback and have acted by re-establishing our call centres back here."

In response to the Moneywise's results, Santander's director of service quality Steve Williams apologised to the bank's customers, saying: "It's not our business strategy to have competitive products and poor customer service – that's certainly not our intention. I'd like to say sorry and apologise to customers for the problems they've had."


In Moneywise's Customer Service Awards, Santander was repeatedly lambasted by customers for its unhelpful staff and poor phone services – in direct contrast with the awards' overall winner First Direct, which was praised for its efficient and helpful UK-based call centres. 

An extra 500 staff have been hired by Santander to deal with the estimated 1.5 million calls each month. The new call centres will be based in Glasgow, Leicester and Liverpool.

Abbey National, which Santander bought in 2004, outsourced its call centre arm to Bangalore and Pune in 2003.

The move back to the UK is heralded by Botin as "a major step" for the bank.


She adds: "I am determined that we will do even more to improve the service we offer, as I plan further initiatives later this year to build on the progress we are making."

Santander also plans to introduce 1,000 new customer-facing roles, a specialist call centre team with its own telephone number to deal with customer complaints, a staff helpline and a new ‘resolve or refer' system to address customer issues more quickly.

Are you convinced that Santander will improve its customer service? Share your thoughts and vote in our poll.

Your Comments

I am very convinced that Santander will improve its customer service. It can only get better. iT CAN'T GET WORSE!

Well 10/10 times I have had complaints with Santandar's customer service, it had nothing to do with Indian call centre. Their UK staff are so under trained that they do mistakes at virtually step in a process. Sent me letters with another customer's content, closed my complaint without a resolution, forgot to send me settlement cheque and finally closed my current account by mistake. In my opinion this bank is a joke!

they need to, i have never had such bad customer care ever,

this is farvtoo late to placate customers. I AMB HOUSEBOUND CAN ONLY DO BUSINESS VIA INTERNET and have been unablevto access my account for two, yes two, months, if someone has got into it, as they say illegal access has been noted, what comeback do I have??

I have banked with Abbey, Alliance & Leicester & Santander (now all one company) all my life & I have become very disillusioned since it has been Santander. I have had continuing, very stressful, problems with every account I have with them. But the worst thing is, when you try to sort the problem out there is no continuity. You have to talk to a different person each time you phone in who apologises & assures you they will sort things out & yet another problem crops up. I am not exaggerating when I say I spent one afternoon from 12:30 to 5:00pm on the phone & the matter still wasn't resolved. I was on the phone yesterday afternoon for 45mins with yet another problem. The young man told me initially that the account I was talking about didn't exist!! He then had to apologise after his Manager traced it for me!! What sort of state is all our private banking in if an account can't be found when you give them a valid account number? I am waiting for my accounts to mature & then I will be moving all of them elsewhere as I'm not convinced I should risk any more with Santander.

Having been on the receiving end of some appalling customer service from Santander, I seriously hope that they will improve. They need to employ staff who put the customer first, who listen and understand the customers point of view adn who are empowered to resolve problems rather than have to pass calls around.

I cannot believe that Santander will improve in the short term. I still have two fixed rate products from A&L and Abbey. Finding out information on them has been very difficult.

I cannot believe that Santander will improve in the short term. I still have two fixed rate products from A&L and Abbey. Finding out information on them has been very difficult.

No problems with Santander in the branch or on line. Glad the call centre's coming back to the UK from India though.

I think there is no problem with Santander. Glad the call centers coming back from India though.