Santander is to reduce its presence on UK high streets by cutting its branch numbers.
The lender will close 56 such outlets in a bid to reduce any overlap in its banking network that may arise as a result of the takeovers of Alliance & Leicester, Abbey National and Bradford & Bingley.
Such a move - which will see branches shut in areas where three of the group's units already stand - is required in order for the institute to meet European Union requirements on state aid.
The majority of the outlets targeted are to be ones that formerly belonged to Bradford & Bingley or Alliance & Leicester, which were simply rebranded as Santander facilities.
A spokesman for the bank, which is part of the Santander Group - told the Guardian: "Santander UK is consolidating some of its branches - only where our detailed, two-year research shows we can continue to provide the level of service needed to the local community."
By Tony Aynsley