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Abbey brand to disappear from high street

Santander starts re-naming branches
Abbey logo

Santander, the Spanish bank which owns Abbey, Bradford & Bingley and Alliance & Leicester, will begin the process of re-naming its British brands today.

The re-branding process will see the Abbey and Bradford & Bingley names disappear from the high street, starting in the south east, where 300 branches were re-branded on 11 January.

Another 700 Abbey and Bradford & Bingley branches across the UK will be re-named Santander before the end of the month, with Alliance & Leicester’s branches due to be re-branded later in 2010.

Santander Zero current account

Santander has also launched its Zero current account today. It is available only to Santander mortgage customers, and offers fee-free banking whether a customer is overdrawn or in-credit – provided they pay in at least £1,000 per month.

Customers with arranged or unarranged overdrafts will pay a flat rate of 12.9% EAR on negative balances, and will not be charged for paid or unpaid items if they exceed their agreed overdraft limit.

Zero current account holders also qualify for free worldwide ATM usage, fee-free debit card usage for overseas transactions and will receive 6% AER interest on in-credit balances during the first year their account is open.

However, Which? banking expert Rebecca Fearnley warned that ‘the promise of becoming eligible for this current account shouldn’t tempt consumers into taking out a mortgage with Santander unless they are certain it’s the right deal for them. Many of its benefits can be obtained elsewhere – for example, some credit cards offer fee-free overseas spending’.

To find out more about which current accounts currently offer the best deals, check out our independent current accounts review.

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