The local business managers will be based in branches across the country to provide face-to-face and telephone support to business customers with annual turnover of up to £250,000.
Santander say that the new managers will work with businesses to provide advice on business plans and forecasts, and will be able to direct businesses to additional advice and support available in the local area where necessary.
The move comes as part of a re-launch of the products and services available to smaller businesses. This follows the restructure of the business to merge Santander’s Corporate, Commercial and Business Banking divisions.
In a move to increase transparency and simplify the products available, Santander will also offer businesses with annual turnover up to £1 million a range of fixed-fee bank accounts with no additional day-to-day banking charges, except for cash deposits that exceed fixed monthly limits.
All day-to-day banking fees will be waived for start-ups for the first 12 months, or 18 months for business owners who also hold a personal current account. Santander claim that this move could save businesses between £182 to £436 a year on their banking costs.
To help businesses calculate the cost of finance, unsecured loans of up to £25,000 will be offered at a fixed rate of at 7.9% p.a, again with a fixed arrangement fee of £100.
Robin Foale, Managing Director for Santander Business Banking, said: “Small businesses are vital for the UK economy and it’s important that we are able to provide products and services which help support and accelerate business growth, whilst also investing the time to build strong and lasting relationships with our customers.
“Our research shows businesses want to know they have someone at their bank who is contactable and dependable when they need them, which is why we are increasing the number of local business managers across the country.
“And we want to give our customers clarity about the cost of their banking services. Our transparent, competitive, fixed-pricing for current accounts, loans and overdrafts will provide customers with the certainty they need to plan for the cost of their future funding requirements.”
Businesses with annual turnover less than £250,000 will be managed by Santander Business Banking, while those with annual turnover of above £250,000 and up to £2.5 million will now move into Santander Commercial Banking and be offered a full relationship management service.