It’s not always easy talking about your finances but speaking up and seeking help when you are struggling can prevent difficult situations from getting worse. At Santander, we are here to help our customers navigate the increasing cost of living. There are many initiatives to support both people and businesses that are ‘feeling the pinch’. Here are some from Santander UK.

The rising cost of living is affecting Santander customers. If you are struggling to make ends meet, or ‘feeling the pinch’, you are not alone. When people face financial difficulty, they may not know what to do, who to speak to, or what options they have. For that reason, Santander UK is reminding customers that if they have missed a payment or if finances are a struggle, we can help. Simply speaking to us will not affect your credit file; we are here to support and help to get you back on track.

Santander UK mortgage customers Tony and Tracey share their thoughts on how getting support from the bank sooner helped them.
Santander UK mortgage customers Tony and Tracey share their thoughts on how getting support from the bank sooner helped them.

Santander UK has launched online financial support and digital tools to help customers keep on top of their finances. The bank’s financial support hub features options such as a financial health check that gives personalised tips to improve your financial situation; a budget planner, that helps you with your money by better understanding your incomings and outgoings; and cost of living support. Over 35,000 people have used Santander UK’s free online financial health check and budgeting tool since launching earlier this year.

Call if you need help

Santander UK is encouraging customers to feel comfortable getting in touch with their bank if facing financial difficulty. Making that initial call and seeking help if you are falling behind on mortgage or loan payments might not be the easiest thing to do, but it can only make things better. In short, if you find yourself struggling to keep on top of your finances, it’s time to take action. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and talk to your bank to find the right solution for you. So, if you need to restructure your debt, get in touch with us.

BBC News visited Santander UK’s customer call centre in Bradford to film a ‘behind-the-scenes' news feature.
BBC News visited Santander UK’s customer call centre in Bradford to film a ‘behind-the-scenes' news feature.

Mike Regnier, Santander UK chief executive, showcased this approach to the concern around the rising cost of living during an interview with BBC News. The news feature (watch in the video above) went behind-the-scenes at one of the bank’s financial support centres and spoke to employees who were receiving calls from people struggling financially. As the piece illustrates, some customers were looking for basic advice on ways to reduce spending, while others were calling in to get funds released to pay for everyday essentials.

Santander UK echoes the message the Group conveys to its clients, people and businesses, that are struggling: “ring if you need financial help”. Mike explains that, for those feeling the effects of rising prices, Santander provides guidance on how to manage their finances, and explores options for households around mortgage payment arrangements and length of term of such loans.

The rising cost of living is also having an impact on businesses, hence why Santander UK is also encouraging SME clients to get in contact for support at the first sign of difficulty. In the video below you can see how, The Bowgie Inn, a pub in Newquay (in southwest England) has been affected by the rising cost of living, and how it has adapted to remain successful. If you are a business owner, you can also visit Santander UK’s SME Support Toolkit for further resources.

A growing Financial Support team

“The global environment and rising cost of living have presented challenges for many of our customers and clients. Our focus has been to provide targeted and practical support, including advice on household budgeting and a toolkit for SMEs to help with ongoing inflationary pressures”, wrote Mike Regnier in Santander UK Group - Annual Report 2022

All in all, Santander UK has been growing its Financial Support team and now has around 600 colleagues in place and trained to help customers on the phone. In the first quarter of 2023, there was a 14% increase in the number of calls to the financial support service. There was also a 51% year on year uplift in the number of customers using Santander UK’s online financial support and digital tools.

Inflationary and macroeconomic pressures will continue to impact people and businesses’ finances. We will remain loyal to our clients by continuing to improve the service and support we provide in a responsible way.

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