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Keeping you up-to-date

Whether it's about our charity work towards helping communities, or new schemes we're running for apprentices, this is where you'll find all the latest Santander news. Make sure to check back throughout the year to find out what's going on. 

Did you know?

  • We're the first bank to allow payments using just your voice Read more
  • Santander employees raised over £1 Million for Age UK & Barnado's Read more
  • We're dedicated to hiring from the armed forces Read more
  • We're one of The Times Top 100 Graduates Employers for 2016-17 Read more
  • We support social enterprise community projects across the UK Read more
  • 518,000 students run or plan to run a business while at University Read more
  • Student enterprises generate revenues of £913 million per year Read more
  • We offer new degree level apprenticeships Read more
  • In 2015 we were one of the Times Top 50 Employers for Women for the forth year Read more
  • We are a leading contributor to UK universities with four brand new initiatives Read more

Did you know?

We're the first bank to allow payments using just your voice

We have become the first bank in the UK to enable customers to make payments using their voice.

Following our launch of the “voice assistant banking” technology in 2016, we have revamped the iPhone version of our SmartBank app so that it now allows account holders to use voice commands to check their balance as well as authorise payments to existing payees.

In order to use the feature, users need to log into the app and command the voice assistant to make a payment to previous payees.

Ed Metzger, head of technology innovation at Santander, said: “The worlds of technology and banking continue to evolve at pace, working hand in hand to deliver a friction-free user experience.

We are excited to be the first UK high street bank to enable customers to make payments using just their voice, offering them another channel of choice in how they wish to bank.”

The new technology is being piloted on the iOS version of the official app, and follows the introduction of what we call voice assistant banking last year, which enabled users to ask the app questions about spending habits.

“Appetite for simple, intuitive banking solutions has grown significantly in recent years,” Mr Metzger said.

“This pioneering technology has huge potential to become an integral part of the future banking experience, playing a transformational role in the industry and redefining how customers choose to manage their money.”

Did you know?

Santander employees raised over £1 Million for Age UK & Barnado's

Santander employees across the UK have raised more than £1.1 million for the bank's
charity partners Age UK and Barnardo's through fundraising events during 2016.

Following an all staff vote, Age UK and Barnardo's were selected to be Santander's charity partners from 2016 - 2018 with the bank aiming to raise £3 million over the three-year period.

Throughout 2016, bank employees raised funds through a range of activities. These included going retro for the 'A Twist in Time' launch event at the beginning of the year, and then taking to the roads, tracks and waterways for the Flame Relay in June, a race across the UK using a variety of modes of transport.

"We've been overwhelmed by the support from Santander staff in the first year of this partnership with Age UK and Barnardo's. The generosity and commitment has been truly remarkable and is vital to helping both charities change lives. We're thrilled to be continuing our partnership for the next two years."
Forbes Mutch
Head of Corporate Partnerships at Barnardo's

Later in the year teams embarked on the Isle Challenge; went head-to-head in Store Wars; travelled to South Africa to build houses for AIDS orphans; and donned their favourite festive-wear at Christmas. In addition, staff also organised balls, karting races, quizzes, treasure hunts and various sporting challenges.

Volunteering has also played an important part in the partnership activity. Over 50 Santander employees signed up to make regular friendship calls on Age UK's "Call in Time" programme; staff gave workshops on topics including digital skills, fraud awareness and financial capability to schools and local community groups; and over 60 volunteering days, known as Discovery Days, took place with staff helping in their local communities.

Santander's staff voted to support Age UK and Barnardo's to help transform the lives of vulnerable and disadvantaged people at each end of the age spectrum. Regardless of age, isolation, loneliness and a lack of opportunity can be crippling to mental health and wellbeing, and can prevent any chance of living an enjoyable and independent life. The funds raised through the partnership will help to enable Age UK and Barnardo's to be there for younger and older people when no one else is.

Did you know?

We're dedicated to hiring from the armed forces

We have always been dedicated to supporting the hiring of people from the armed forces and their families. And this was strengthened in 2016 when Vicky Wallis, HR Director signed the armed forces covenant, which is Santander UK’s promise to ensure those who serve or have served, and their families, are treated fairly.

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We're one of The Times Top 100 Graduates Employers for 2016-17

Employing almost 5,000 people, we were judged as the highest new entry in this year’s Times Top 100 Graduate employers coming in at number 64! The prestigious rankings, now in their eighteenth year, are based on research among more than 18,300 final year students who left university this year. The students are asked which employers they feel offer the best opportunities for graduates, with the feedback used to compile the top 100 list.

Iain Gallagher, Emerging Talent Senior Manager at Santander, said: “We’re delighted to be included in The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers and even more so because it’s feedback directly from the graduates themselves. It’s really important for us to appeal to young talent from all walks of life, so it’s great that we’ve been rated so highly by UK graduates.”

Anthony Alvarado joined the Santander Graduate programme in September 2009 and worked through the various branch roles which lead to a promotion as a Branch Director. Most recently he has been selected to join the Santander Future Leaders Programme and is currently working in Technology and Operations at the Milton Keynes office.

Anthony said: “The Graduate scheme has helped me to develop into the Branch Director Role today by giving me a structure to follow to achieve my career ambitions. It has both supported and driven me to accelerate my growth in the company and without it I don’t think I would be in this position.”

Did you know?

We support social enterprise community projects across the UK

For the first time, one of the UK`s leading banks is partnering with a Crowdfunding platform in an innovation collaboration to support social enterprises and community projects across the UK. Inspirational community projects looking to support social change are now able to present their ideas on Crowdfunde.co.uk and unlock matched funding of up to £10k from Santander`s new Changemaker fund.

Did you know?

518,000 students run or plan to run a business while at University

Almost a third (30 per cent) of students - equivalent to 518,372 in total - currently run or plan to run a business while they are still at university according to new research from Santander Universities. These findings represent a 38 per cent increase on the 375,000 budding student entrepreneurs recorded in 2015.

Did you know?

Student enterprises generate revenues of £913 million per year

Amongst those that have already started a business, the average turnover is £13,213 per annum, equivalent to a collective £913 million(3) and almost double the £478 million turnover from last year’s research. Technology-based solutions (22 per cent) and arts or crafts (18 per cent) are the most common type of student venture. These are followed by clothing and textiles, tutoring and administration services (all at eight per cent). The research, commissioned by Santander Universities to support their sixth annual Entrepreneurship Awards, which recognise and support student entrepreneurs from across the UK, reveals the most common reason for students to start a business or joint venture is to pursue a hobby or personal interest (70 per cent). This is followed by financial motivation (58 per cent), and work experience (26 per cent). Students are aiming high with ambitious plans for growth. Almost half of all student entrepreneurs (46 per cent) expect their turnover to increase by up to 50 per cent over the next five years, with an additional 10 per cent aiming for a 250 per cent increase in turnover.

Did you know?

We offer new degree level apprenticeships

At Santander we recognise that people follow many different employment paths and the extension of our apprenticeship programme to Degree Level provides yet another route into a banking career. We want to attract talented people from all walks of life, and joining as an apprentice gives people the chance to earn and learn at the same time. Studying for a degree while developing their career has strong appeal to candidates who want to quickly gain professional experience and this new programme is a great opportunity for anyone looking to build digital skills.

Did you know?

In 2015 we were one of the Times Top 50 Employers for Women for the forth year

We have been named in The Times Top 50 Employers for Women 2015, which lists the UK organisations that are leading on workplace gender equality. In its fifth year, the 2015 awards are published in partnership with Opportunity Now, the workplace gender campaign from Business in the Community, during Business in the Community’s Responsible Business Week. At Santander we constantly look to advance our diversity programme and offer a range of benefits that support female employees including flexible working, childcare voucher scheme and mentoring. Earlier this year, our Santander Breakthrough programme which supports ambitious SMEs with a range of specialist products and services, announced a dedicated programme of support for female entrepreneurs to help us scale our activity.

Did you know?

We are a leading contributor to UK universities with four brand new initiatives

We have recently announced the launch of four new initiatives and an additional £1.6 million in funding for Santander Universities. Our 4 key initiatives will focus on:

  • An expanded internships scheme to improve employability – we will now provide 3,250 internships for students to gain experience in the SME sector through providing £3.25 million in funding.
  • Scaled-up Entrepreneurship Awards – Our research from earlier this year showed that 30% of students currently run or plan to run a business while they are still at university. The Awards support and encourage university students and recent graduates to pursue their business ideas through a national pitching competition to identify the best businesses from Santander Universities' 81 partner universities.
  • A new fund for Widening Participation - £400,000 fund to support Widening Participation with the aims to help tackle the barriers, both social and economic, that still prevent too many people from fulfilling their educational potential. 
  • Santander Cycles on University campuses - From 2017, we will be working with our University partners to expand the popular Santander Cycles scheme, this supports Santander's goal to invest in local communities, helping to provide greater mobility to people.

Santander UK Chief Executive, Nathan Bostock said: "I am proud to say that Santander has become a true partner to the Higher Education sector over the last ten years… More than ever, we recognise the need to help young people capitalise on their skills, their ideas and their potential."

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