Santander UK Says 232,000 Clients Switched to Lender in 2013

Santander UK Plc, the British unit of Spain’s biggest lender, lured 232,000 checking-account customers from competitors last year as consumers used a service that makes it faster to change banks.

“The impact of the Current Account Switcher Service introduced in September 2013 has been positive for Santander UK, with a significant net gain in accounts transferred through the scheme,” the bank said in an e-mailed statement today.

The service enables customers to move to a different bank within seven days, compared with as long as 30 days previously. Britain’s four largest lenders have about 75 percent of the market of 76 million checking accounts, the Office of Fair Trading said last year.

Santander UK’s pretax profit for 2013 fell 1 percent to 1.14 billion pounds ($1.88 billion) from the year-earlier period after a one-time gain on the repurchase of its own debt wasn’t repeated, the company said.

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