Santander’s new branch will open later this year, with the Bank of Scotland branch scheduled to close on Friday 12 October at 12:30 pm.
Ahead of its arrival, the new bank will provide students with the opportunity to sign up for a new student account with Santander if they so wish. The bank will also provide services for international students.
In addition to this, Santander will provide at least two cash machines in the Atrium that will be able to dispense £5 notes.
Stuart Boyd, manager of Santander’s University of Stirling branch, said: “We are delighted to be opening this branch at the University of Stirling. Santander and the university have been working together since March and this new branch signifies the latest development in our partnership. We are committed to serving the student and academic communities and developing long-term relationships with them.”
Sam Gibbs, President of the Students’ Union, hopes that the deal with Santander will be beneficial to students. He explained: “I think the move has other benefits including the branch’s extended opening hours, not closing for lunch, because for staff and officers the lunch break is often the only opportunity we get to access a bank.
“The bank is going to be student focused, so whilst this may cause the Union itself a few headaches, it will ultimately be of greater benefit to the students.”
Santander was awarded the contract after winning a tendering process that was overseen by the campus bank tendering group.
Luke Fenton, former President of the Students’ Union, was part of the group that was responsible for choosing who would win the new contract. He explained to Brig the process that took place to reach a decision as to which bank would provide a service in the Atrium beginning this academic year.
He said, “I attended several meetings with senior university figures to ensure that the on campus bank was going to be providing the best service to students regardless of which bank the university decided to go with.”
He revealed that once the tendering process closed, the group had received two bids. One was from Lloyds banking group which ran the branch under the auspices of the Bank of Scotland. The other came in the form of Santander.
Fenton continued, “In my role as President and the representative of the students and the Students’ Union I took the two tendering options to the Financial Resources Committee and the Executive Council of the Students’ Union in order to get student opinions about what each bank was offering. [We felt] that Santander was offering so much more than the Bank of Scotland.”
The former President explained that Bank of Scotland did not highlight any changes to the service they previously offered. He added, “The presentation offered to the group I sat on, in my opinion, was poor, lacklustre and was offering nothing fresh.
I therefore was not willing to support Bank of Scotland’s re-contracting to that position within the Atrium and the same was said of my colleagues around the table.”
Fenton revealed that Santander’s presentation did more to impress the group. He concluded, “Santander gave us a very enthusiastic presentation which looked very promising. They were offering a lot more support to students, the Students’ Union and university staff.
They initially only offered one cash machine but after our concerns were voiced this was raised to two and even maybe three if they believed that this was feasible.
“It was decided by the group that this would be the best option for the Atrium and would provide a little bit of investment to the Atrium to provide a better service for students.”
Bank of Scotland will continue to operate its Stirling city centre branch in Port Street. They also sent out a letter in July to inform all existing customers of the branch’s closure at Stirling University.
In a statement to Brig, Bank of Scotland said, “We are disappointed to be leaving after many years as a result of Stirling University’s decision.”