Banco Santander, the Spanish owner of Alliance & Leicester, Abbey and Bradford & Bingley's saving business, plans to cut 1,900 British jobs next year, adding to the toll the credit crunch has taken on financial workers.
The group, which shocked the market with an emergency €7.2bn (£6.4bn) rights issue last month, is nonetheless one of the European banks to have come out best from the financial crisis so far. It has rescued by acquisition both Alliance & Leicester and parts of Bradford & Bingley as the small banks faced troubles. It has owned Abbey since 2004.
Santander said the job cuts were part of plans to save £180m by the end of 2011 following the Alliance & Leicester deal. It expects the move to have a minimal impact on customer-facing roles in branches, because the focus of the reductions will be on back-office functions and across operational and head office sites.