Santander have announced they have permanently closed their branch opposite the Students’ Union on the Loughborough University campus.

The branch underwent a temporary closure on the 18th March due to the novel Coronavirus, but the company has now announced that it “will not reopen and will be permanently closed with immediate effect.”

The company has also announced closures at another 49 university campuses right across the country, from Bournemouth on the South Coast to Glasgow in Scotland, as a part of “a comprehensive review of our University branch network” and “as a result of our customers’ needs changing”.

Santander has been located in the Rutland Lodge for over a decade, renting the space from the Students’ Union, and the bank had since become a core part of University life for many students, with Santander also providing the University with £450,000 in funding to support its enterprise, education and employability initiatives back in 2019.

Previously, the Vice Chancellor has commended the University’s relationship with the bank, saying “Loughborough University is immensely proud of its relationship with Santander Universities and their generous support over a long period of time.”

Justifying the closure, Santander said that “we regularly review all our branch network including assessing how our customers use our branches and how frequently they visit them.

We don’t take the decision to close any branch lightly but increasingly our customers are choosing to bank with us in different ways, which means some branches are being visited less often.”

[pullquote]”As a result of our assessment and following careful consideration, we have taken the difficult decision to close Loughborough University branch with immediate effect.”[/pullquote]

Santander have suffered record £10bn losses in the first half of the year, much of which has been attributed to COVID-19, and it is likely that the need to cut costs across the UK market has led to the closure of their site at the University.

As part of their justification for closing the branch, the Bank said that 99% of Loughborough University customers now use alternative forms of banking other than their branches, with Santander now instead choosing to focus on locations where a significant number of students still rely on a physical branch.

The branch at 63 Market Street in the Town Centre will remain open.

It is as yet unknown what will fill the now vacant unit in Rutland Lodge. Loughborough Students’ Union did not respond to Label’s approach for comment.

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