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Furious Santander goes to war with Nationwide over TV advert mocking high street banks | Personal Finance | Finance

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has hit out at a advert mocking the ‘big banks’ for closing their branches, filing a complaint with the advertising watchdog.

The mocking advert features actor Dominic West – who played Prince Charles in The Crown – as the arrogant bank boss of ‘A.N.Y Bank’ who says they should close “that big space downstairs” as “it’s a bit overindulgent nowadays”.

He makes fun of the idea of a customer coming into a branch worried about their savings, dismissing this as a “total yawnfest”, while sipping on a smoothie.

The advert also features a Nationwide branch still open for business and concludes with the message: “Unlike the big banks, we’re not closing our branches.”

Santander has reported the satirical advert to the Advertising Standards Authority. A spokesperson for the authority said: “We’ve received a complaint about a Nationwide ad.

“The complainant argues that the ad is misleading around other banks closing branches, and discredits and denigrates its competitors. We’re currently investigating this case and, as such, can’t comment any further at this time.”

A Nationwide spokesperson said: “We are aware of the complaint made to the ASA and await the outcome. Unlike the big banks, Nationwide has not pursued a significant branch closure programme.

“Since 2013, those banks have closed more than half of their branches. By contrast, we continue to believe face-to-face banking matters.

“We now have more branches than any other brand and will soon be the last one standing in almost 100 communities. Our Branch Promise means that everywhere we have a branch, we’ll still be there until at least 2026.” has also asked Santander for comment about the issue but the bank declined to comment.

The UK is set to lose another 189 bank closures in 2024, including 60 Lloyds branches, 47 Halifax branches and 34 Barclays branches.

Data from consumer champion Which? showed 5,791 branches have shut up shop since January 2015, at a rate of around 54 each month.

The Government banks to retain in-person services as the sweeping branch closures continue.

Treasury minister Bim Afolami said in response to a question in Parliament: “It is imperative that banks and building societies recognise the needs of all their customers, including those who still need to use in-person services.

“The impact of branch closures must be mitigated where possible so that all customers, wherever they live, continue to have appropriate access to banking services.”

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