Commenting on today's announcement from Santander that all three UK brands will be amalgamated under the Santander name, Kevin Mountford, head of banking at moneysupermarket.com, said;
"The decision to re-brand all the separate entities under the Santander name was expected, but not quite so soon. And although some consolidation within the banking sector as a whole has to be anticipated, we are now seeing the emergence of a new banking super brand.
"Consumers will need to keep their eyes peeled to see how this will affect them, as there can be no doubt the consolidation process will leave some casualties. There are currently three brands offering a range of different products, with different customer propositions. Individually Alliance & Leicester, Bradford & Bingley and Abbey all offered some well priced, good value products that challenged the big four clearing banks. However, when all the brands are combined under Santander we must expect there to be a reduction in choice and competition on the high street.
"After all, we have already seen some reduction in competition since Alliance & Leicester was taken over by Santander, with recent Alliance & Leicester current account offers not being made available to Abbey current account customers.
"Whilst there will be a reduction in choice and competition from the re-branding exercise, I hope Santander will continue to challenge the main high street banks by offering good value products and excellent customer service."
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