During the past two years Santander bank has revolutionised its services in Wales, by expanding its Welsh language service and introducing cash-points that remember language choice, an offer that Christian Dalton, Santander’s Regional Manager in south Wales is exceptionally happy about.
“The Welsh language is one of the treasures of Wales and is part of what defines Wales as a nation. It is important that we at Santander reflect the customers we serve by enabling colleagues from our Welsh branches to learn and speak Welsh for the benefit of our customers and the local community.”
Until recently, customers in Wales had two language options at a Santander cash-point, English and Spanish. But the bank, with headquarters in Spain, has recently added a Welsh option too. The bank has 36 branches in Wales, and Christian is grateful to the Hybu Team for their support and guidance when introducing Welsh to the workplace.
“The Welsh Language Commissioner’s Hybu Team has provided constructive feedback and acted as a middle ground between customers and Santander when issues have been raised. We’ve actively collaborated and shown a desire to improve the experience for customers in Santander in Wales.”
Santander has also been encouraging employees to learn Welsh phrases and vocabulary that relate to banking services to enable them to support customers in Welsh. The sessions started in March this year for 22 Branch Directors and Branch Managers who also now have access to a newly developed online training tool to support their learning and encourage Welsh to be spoken in their branches.
Samantha Marshall, Branch Director of Santander’s Pontypridd branch said:
“Unlike many of my colleagues I didn’t learn Welsh in school. Although I struggle with the pronunciation I have really enjoyed my first two Welsh sessions and have come back to the branch and tried out some of the phrases with my Welsh-speaking colleagues. I have even been introduced to a Welsh-speaking customer who was delighted when I said a few words in Welsh.”