Santander boss says no risk in ringing for help

Ringing a bank when facing financial problems as prices soar will make things better, not worse, according to the boss of Santander.

Mike Regnier, UK chief executive of the bank, said early notice of difficulties can save further pain and may not affect a customer’s credit rating.

The BBC visited Santander’s support centre as staff took calls from people struggling to afford nappies and milk.

Staff say some cases can leave them in tears.

“Sometimes it does bring a tear or two to your eye. People do go through difficult times,” said Maxx Townend, one of the helpline operators working in Bradford.

“But you’ve got to be that strong point for them. If there’s two people breaking down on the phone it’s going to be a bit of a jumble. But if you’re being that strong person, they are going to feel strong as well.”

The rising cost of living has meant calls to the helpline are up 14% since last year, while the number of people accessing the support pages of its website is up nearly 50%.


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