Banking merry-go-round on campus

University vice chancellor Mark E Smith with the director of Santander Universities UK Luis Juste.

University vice chancellor Mark E Smith with the director of Santander Universities UK Luis Juste.

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A high street bank has opened a new branch at Lancaster University – as another prepares to close its doors.

Santander has opened a branch on campus as part of a three-year agreement with the university which also includes scholarships and awards for students and staff to study within the UK and abroad.

Director of Santander Universities UK, Luis Juste, said: “This is a really important day for us because this is much more than a bank - we are part of the campus.

“We can offer scholarships, grants and funding for special projects and we are committed to the university sector.”

University vice-chancellor Mark E. Smith, said: “This opening symbolises an expansion of choice on campus because we are keen to offer as many facilities as possible to our students. Santander also has a very forward looking attitude to universities and has generously funded a range of student scholarships.”

Meanwhile, Natwest will close its campus branch on March 25.

A spokeswoman said: “Customer demand has fallen sharply at our Lancaster University branch over the last 12 months and we have taken the difficult decision to close this branch.

“We have advised staff and will be helping our customers to make alternative arrangements.

“A full branch offering is available at the nearby Lancaster branch.”

She added that the bank would seek where possible to re-deploy staff at other nearby branches.