Earlier this week, Santander announced that it will be cutting its branch opening hours from July in what it says is a response to long-term trends in customer behaviour.
The changes mean branches will operate from 9.30am to 3pm on weekdays, instead of until 4.30pm. The bank said branch staff will still be available for pre-booked face-to-face appointments between 3pm and 5pm, if customers need support that cannot be provided through alternative channels or earlier in the day.
The shake-up will also see 316 branches move from being open from 9.30am to 4pm on Saturdays to operating a half-day service, closing at 12.30pm. However, face-to-face appointments can still be made at these branches until 4pm.
The changes will take place from July 18 and Santander said there will be no branch closures as part of the changes, adding that all of its 450 sites will remain open every weekday.
The bank plans to beef up its telephone support for customers and said branch staff will be trained to help on the phone alongside their current face-to-face roles.
While the changes may be disappointing for some customers, they may not be aware that the Post Office has an agreement with many banks – including Santander – which allows customers to do their everyday banking over the counters of any Post Office across the UK.
What can people do at any UK Post Office?
You can use any of these services at a Post Office counter:
- With draw cash from your usual bank account using your card
- Pay cash into your usual bank account using a card or paying-in slip
- Check your bank balance using your card
- Deposit by check
These banking services are available for free to customers of more than 20 banks and building societies, including all the high street big names.
The Post Office says it is able to serve 99 per cent of UK banking customers – you can check the full list of participating banks and services available here.
Banks allowing customers to use Post Office for services
The following personal banking services are now available from any Post Office branch:
- Adam & Co.
- Allied Irish Bank (UK)
- Bank of Ireland
- Bank of Scotland
- Cash plus Bank
- First Direct
- Starling Bank
Where and when can you use banking services at the Post Office?
You can use these services:
- At any Post Office branch, including inside retail outlets
- Whenever it’s open – this includes evenings and Sundays (where available)
Other ways to get access to cash
A scheme enabling people to get cash from retailers’ tills without needing to make a purchase has been rolled out to more than 2,000 shops.
Under the scheme, people can withdraw up to £50 in notes and coins in smaller shops or check their balance free of charge.
Link said that following a successful 12-month pilot, the scheme is already live in around 1,000 locations and has seen more than 24,800 transactions being made with an average withdrawal amount of £27.81.
Withdrawals of any amount between 1p and £50 can be made, rather than being restricted to the notes dispensed by ATMs.
Payment services provider PayPoint is the first of Link’s members to provide the facility.
The ability to offer the service is open to all Link members, and Link said it hopes that others will also take up the opportunity as the market develops.
You can find their nearest cashback without purchase location using Link’s cash locator here and cash locator app.
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