Following a fall of 22% in its British profits for the first quarter of the year, Santander, the bank that likes to say “Yes – unless we change our minds” is to focus more on its business customers.

Santander in Britain is run, badly it seems, by Ana Patricia Botin, eldest daughter of Emilio Botin, the Spanish group’s executive chairman. Last year Ms Botin upset some customers in the business sector by reneging on promises made to them by British banks that Santander took over, then making a quick U-turn following complaints. (See Marketing Matters Issues 29 and 30)

Now Botin is at it again telling some business customers with Business Savings accounts that the cheque books they were issued with when they opened their accounts “were never intended as part of the product offering”, and that “With immediate effect we will no longer issue replacement cheque books on these accounts, and will not honour any cheques drawn on these accounts after 31st May 2013”. Any customer not accepting this will, says Botin, have their account closed, though she has generously agreed not to charge the customers for the closure.

Wonder if Emilio knows how much damage his daughter is doing to Santander’s credibility in the British business market he is so keen to milk?

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