Santander FAQ

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44 English questions out of 44

22 May 2019

What is health insurance like at Santander?

Pros

Good health insurance, flexible time off, environment not as bad as some other large banks. Retail does "Personal" well with customers, who generally like the bank.

Cons

Have worked in financial services for a long time and never seen such mediocre management. Generally true for retail, especially bad in mortgage, where Operations has a distinct culture of disrespect and making-things-more-difficult-for the straight-commissioned originators and other customer-facers; the worst offenders have been rewarded. Multiple levels of sales management whose skills are limited to holding meetings and "rah rah, go work/sell more." Employee surveys are given only lip service. Have experienced subtle discrimination.

Advice to Management

1. Employees know when leaders don't walk the "Respect" "Personal" "Fair" "Simple" talk and eventually customers figure it out too. 2. Being not-as-bad-as-BOA-and-Wells and hiring their execs isn't a business strategy. 3. Build your mortgage strategy for the 21st century, not the 20th.

Good health insurance, flexible time off, environment not as bad as some other large banks.

22 May 2019

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3 October 2018

Does Santander offer sponsored degrees?

Pros

Great team, positive culture, tuition reimbursement, 401k match, excellent amount of pto

Cons

Lay offs, dated technology in some areas

Advice to Management

Keep doing what you are doing

Great team, positive culture, tuition reimbursement, 401k match, excellent amount of pto

3 October 2018

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12 September 2020

Does Santander pay for a gym membership?

Pros

Very interesting and exciting projets, freedom to help colleagues on a wide variety of tasks. People are welcoming, friendly and professional and will give you time if you need help. Good work life balance, I learned a lot and had a very good relationship with my supervisor.

Cons

No cafeteria, no gym, not a lot of social events

No cafeteria, no gym, not a lot of social events

12 September 2020

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21 October 2019

Does Santander offer vision insurance?

Pros

Some terrific people trying their level best to help clients On a returns basis, the corporate & commercial business in the UK is (a very long way) below the group’s hurdles. It is therefore undeniably in a turn-around situation. The business was built up by lending money with the aim that, later, the ancillary revenues would grow to achieve the required returns. Much of the lending was to sectors that the big-4 abandoned post crisis eg caravan parks and care homes. These are not bad sectors per se, but they had suffered substantially in the crisis so were financially weak and there would never have been any prospect of much ancillary banking revenues. Nevertheless the previous regime of seniors allowed and encouraged it on the basis that a reasonably sized commercial bank creates a diversification play vs the 123 current account and retail mortgages (which dominate UK revenues). Gradually things started to change and were looking up for a couple of years. Lending started to be seen as the way to win ancillary business, rather than as an end in itself. The deposit book started to be sorted into ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’ and it looked like investment was starting to arrive.

Cons

But it turned out that the word “investment” does not mean the same to everyone. Investment in people who market things like group connectivity, sectors, alliances and general “International” insight has been given a high priority. This ‘storyline’ investment plays well in Madrid. It’s also easy to understand by the seniors, who are ex-front office RDs and structured financiers, and like anything which, on the face of it, helps the RDs to win clients. Investment in non-product infrastructure also seems to be doing ok with a £10m+ wad of cash going on nCino and other stuff related to onboarding and credit (supporting the RD community and high-capital product infrastructure). Again, the people making the decisions ‘get’ such developments. However, investment in low capital product, systems and channels such as for deposits and banking products etc has simultaneously gone off a cliff. This type of investment is just not seen as “sexy”, and the decision makers don’t want to spend money on stuff they don’t fully understand. Ask the UK CEO and he’ll probably say he’s invested millions into the Corporate and Commercial Bank. And he has, if you only look at the marketing and non-product types of investment. But the products’ systems are weak and the situation is getting worse. Not just on a relative basis vs the other banks, neos and FinTechs. But in absolute terms as well the systems are really creaking. This is the stuff which makes the money. Yes it’s expensive. Really eye-wateringly expensive. But no one wants to grasp this nettle. Everything else should be secondary as this is the kit which makes dough. But it’s not even of secondary importance. Not by a long stretch. Muddying the waters are some noises from group about the EUR20bn technology fund which is for cloud-ification of the global infrastructure. But as with other developments (UK payments hub anybody?) it won’t be done in time to affect the outcomes. And UK corporate banking is (arguably?) more mature, competitive and sophisticated than corporate banking in the rest of the group. So let’s assume the key technology developments from this central programme arrive in about 4 years’ time (which might even be optimistic), and in the meantime we’ll have our product development budgets slashed further in anticipation of the central developments. But who knows whether a. the 20bn will cover everything we need to run our business, or even b. whether we will still be around to benefit from them.

Advice to Management

What does all this mean for product staff? Product management is seen as an overhead rather than a force-multiplier. Product and channel development for actual products is non-existent. Product managers spend most of their day producing PowerPoint justifications, options papers on what the implications are of not doing (or completing) product investment. There is no recognition that this part of the bank is going down the tubes. The 2019 restructure got rid of some decent people and a couple with proper talent who I’m sure were happy to take the cheque. Others of us are now jealously waiting for our own cheque but if it’s not looking likely we might just leave anyway. Nearly as very one in this area is active on LinkedIn during (theoretical / hypothetical) lunch. Very active. If offered a job here I would suggest understanding which team it’s for: If the role is in International proposition ie insight but not tangible, sellable product, then that’s well-supported but do make sure you understand the *exact* job spec as some people have left once they realised the job wasn’t what had been sold to them. If the role is in non-product product management eg touches fin crime, Salesforce, nCino, etc then that’s also pretty well supported, again for the reasons stated. If the role is UK banking and deposit ‘product’ product management ie in deposits or banking solutions then I’d be cautious. Very cautious. Have you thought at all about FinTechs? Or the banks which won the RBS resolution funding? I know I am. Efficiencies can be driven out of this business if we invest in the infrastructure in time (ie quickly enough). Make the product systems work properly, standardise the products and make them self-serve through decent, scalable, user-friendly channels. Capital-light revenues will go up, CSAT up, staff satisfaction will go up, costs will go down. Returns go up on higher revenues AND lower costs. Will take some cash investment upfront, which is hard to secure and will mean delivering tough messages upwards (maybe just by reallocating funding from the non-product areas). If our SCCB seniors don’t bite that bullet in time, then we’re probably going down. My feeling is that the seniors haven’t got the courage to tackle their peers and others who are ‘connected’ in Madrid or to drive that message through to group. If we do sort this out then I’ll eat my words and take this review down. But if my suspicions are correct then it might, unfortunately, already be too late. The only upside then is they’ll need us product staff to run down the business so if I can swallow my pride I’ll have work for quite a while yet.

Really eye

21 October 2019

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25 August 2020

What is the retirement plan like at Santander?

Pros

401k 6% match program, benefits, PTO

Cons

Can get tiring and repetitive

401k 6% match program, benefits, PTO

25 August 2020

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44 English questions out of 44