Case Study: Banco Santander Central
Spain’s largest bank, Banco Santander Central Hispano, opted for the if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it approach after acquiring Abbey in 2004. Since then, Abbey has continued to offer local benefits to local people.
Paul Lomas, HR director, says Banco Santander Central Hispano made no attempt to standardise perks across regions. “The strategy was to better align with UK competitive practice rather than an attempt to harmonise on a global basis. “Our approach was to set up standalone local benefits so specific challenges due to the takeover were relatively few,” he explains.
Since the takeover, Abbey has added a raft of new perks. These include: a childcare voucher scheme, partnership shares, holiday trading, discounted retail vouchers, a new cut-rate mortgage for staff, and a healthcare scheme. But Lomas adds that there were some hitches along the way. “We faced some minor specific issues around managing employee share schemes where Securities laws in the parent’s home market are different from the UK.”