Banco Santander has extended its sharesave scheme to 6,500 Alliance and Leicester employees after taking over the bank last year.
The scheme was previously offered only to staff of Abbey, which became part of the Santander group in 2004.
Ian Cunning, reward consultant at Abbey, said welcoming new staff into the group was a key reason to extend the scheme. “It is about making people feel part of an integrated bank,” he said. “People now will take a keen interest in the share price, and have a reason to want to stay with us and share in our success.”
Through the scheme, staff are offered a 20% discount on the share option price and can save up to £250 a month over three or five years.
Employees were invited to join the scheme in September before it went live last month. More than a quarter (28%) of Alliance and Leicester staff took up the scheme, which achieved a 54% take-up overall.
Cunning said the company’s biggest challenge in extending the scheme was how to communicate it across a geographically-diverse workforce. “The volume of the scheme will be much higher, but it did not make a huge difference to our processes,” he said. “We received great feedback from trade unions and they have helped us get the scheme rolled out. Because we have so many different people across all the different entities, we had to use several methods of communication: leaflets, intranet and presentations. We also set up a dedicated web portal, LetSantanderBenefitYou.com.”
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