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Santander in product and price pledge on Abbey bid

Santander Central Hispano says if its bid for Abbey is successful, it will introduce new mortgage and investment products to the UK market and will reduce costs with its technology.

Speaking to Money Marketing, Santander director Juan Inciarte says a successful bid would see the introduction of platform All Funds Bank – which sells third-party funds in Spain – to the UK.

Inciarte says the bank is keen to launch new products and will compete with the UK&#39s big banks on price.

Inciarte issued a specific challenge to HBOS, saying IFAs will be better off if Santander beats it to Abbey as the Spanish bank will be able to offer more to the marketplace.

He says he is very keen to support IFAs and alth-ough Santander announced this week that if its bid is successful it will reduce the Abbey workforce by 3,000, Inciarte says this would not affect service levels for intermediaries.

He says cost-cutting would only affect centralised areas as Santander&#39s technology would be introduced to reduce costs without reducing service levels. He says Santander&#39s cost to income ratio is 42 per cent whereas the average in the UK is nearer 50 per cent, an indication of the Spanish bank&#39s efficiency.

Inciarte says: “With our strong technology, we would launch new products into the UK market very soon. I hope IFAs will be happy if we acquire Abbey as we will be able to offer more to the marketplace than HBOS. IFAs want good products for their clients and good quality service and we will provide this.”

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