Corporate & Commercial customers


What ring-fencing means for you

Santander UK plc is our main ring-fenced bank. To the extent allowed by the ring-fencing legislation, it continues to serve the needs of our Santander Corporate & Commercial (SCC) clients in the UK.

Our service for corporate and commercial customers within the ring-fenced bank continues to focus on larger SMEs, right through to multi-national corporates, providing them with the products and services they need to grow their own business, leveraging our services and expertise for international trading and event-driven finance.

To comply with ring-fencing legislation, our ring-fenced bank is subject to significant limitations on the investment services and activities that it can provide to customers. While it continues to provide some simpler wholesale and investment products, it will not provide some of our more complex products. In addition, there are restrictions on the credit exposures allowed (e.g. through extending loans) to financial institutions or to certain corporate customers that are treated under ring-fencing legislation as being a financial institution.

If you’re a corporate client of Santander UK plc and/or Abbey National Treasury Services plc who has been affected by our plans, we’ll already have been in direct contact with you to explain what this means for you and how we will continue to serve your needs. If you have products, transactions or arrangements that have moved to the London branch of Banco Santander, S.A. (SLB) and need to onboard SLB as a counterparty, you can find all the information you need here.

Protecting your company from fraud and scams

There have been no changes to your Santander sort codes or account numbers as a result of our ring-fencing plans.

Other UK banks that are subject to ring-fencing may however have made changes, so this may result in requests to change payment details.

While there will be genuine requests to change payment details, fraudsters may use this as an opportunity to trick you into sharing your account details or changing payment information so they can access your money.

Find out more on protecting yourself from fraud and scams here.


Is ring-fencing a legal requirement?

Ring-fencing is a legal requirement for certain UK banks with effect from 1 January 2019. Any banking group that has more than £25 billion of UK deposits from individuals or small businesses will be affected by ring-fencing. In general, within these groups any UK bank that holds deposits from personal or small business customers will be a ring-fenced bank.

Have all banks subject to ring-fencing had to adopt the same approach?

No. There are different ways for banks to meet the requirements of ring-fencing legislation, so banks subject to ring-fencing have adopted different approaches depending on their structures, strategy and customer base. This means customers of different banks may be affected in different ways.

Which regulators have ensured Santander UK will comply with ring-fencing requirements?

Our plans for ring-fencing have been reviewed by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The PRA is the lead regulator responsible for identifying which banks are within the scope of the ring-fencing legislation and for supervising banks’ implementation of the prudential rules. The FCA is working with the PRA, the Bank of England, HM Treasury and the banks that are subject to ring-fencing from the commencement of the regime to support the banks’ implementation of ring-fencing efficiently and on time.

Santander is a Spanish bank, so why does it need to adhere to UK banking laws?

Banco Santander, S.A. is a global banking group and each of its subsidiaries, including Santander UK, operates as an independently capitalised stand-alone business. Santander UK plc, Cater Allen Limited and Abbey National Treasury Services plc are each incorporated in the UK, are subject to UK legislation and are authorised by the UK Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the PRA. Banco Santander, S.A. is authorised and supervised by the European Central Bank and by the Bank of Spain, and its London branch is also subject to limited regulation in the United Kingdom by the FCA and the PRA.

What is a ring-fencing transfer scheme?

A ring-fencing transfer scheme is a legal process that facilitates transfers of business to create a ring-fenced bank.

Part VII of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, provides for a process leading to a court order to facilitate transfers of insurance or banking business. The Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act 2013 added a process for transfers of business in connection with the creation of a ring-fenced bank known as a ring-fencing transfer scheme.

The purpose of a ring-fencing transfer scheme is to enable banks to restructure their businesses in order to comply with the ring-fencing requirements that apply from 1 January 2019.

What was the purpose of Santander’s ring-fencing transfer scheme?

The purpose of our ring-fencing transfer scheme was to enable us to restructure certain parts of our business to comply with the ring-fencing requirements that apply from 1 January 2019.

Under the Scheme:

  • Certain corporate and wholesale markets business have been transferred between Santander UK plc, Abbey National Treasury Services plc and Banco Santander, S.A. London branch.
  • With effect from 1 January 2019, all liabilities of Santander UK plc and Abbey National Treasury Services plc under the existing cross-guarantees issued by each of them in respect of the liabilities of the other have been released and those cross-guarantees unwound.
  • Certain other changes have been made to the terms and conditions of some contracts.