A new Santander bank branch was officially opened on Friday 23 November at Queen Mary, University of London’s Mile End campus, with an event that celebrated the university’s partnership with one of the world’s largest banks.
Queen Mary’s Principal Professor Simon Gaskell joined Mile End branch manager Mansi Desai and Luis Juste, Director, Santander Universities UK, in cutting the ribbon to formally launch the new branch.
The branch is open to local people as well as Queen Mary staff and students, and is the only bank within a short walking distance of the Mile End campus. It offers vital services, such as a cash machine, insurance, free financial advice and current accounts for students, international students and graduates. In addition, the branch is currently offering exclusive mortgage rates for university staff.
Mansi Desai, Branch Manager of the Queen Mary University Santander branch said: "We are delighted to be opening this branch at Queen Mary. We hope to become an integral part of the campus very soon with our tailored services and products for the university community. With over 40 university branches across the UK, Santander has a true and long lasting commitment to higher education. This new branch extends this commitment to this London university."
Professor Gaskell welcomed the new branch of Santander to Mile End. “It’s extremely important for our students, particularly those from overseas, to have access to these facilities on campus. This is another step in our extremely positive relationship with Santander – a relationship that has gained great momentum and developed very quickly, to the benefit of all involved.”
Santander has been working with UK universities since 2007, signing agreements to provide funding for scholarships, mobility grants, special projects and non-academic achievement awards. Since 1997, Santander has signed over 1,000 agreements in 17 countries.
In November 2011 Queen Mary became the 11th London institution to become part of this network, with an agreement that the university would receive a total amount of £120,000 over a period of 3 years. The funding will be used to assist students and academic staff with their study and work at QM. Amongst other activities, the bank’s funding will help with enterprise and entrepreneurship initiatives, including small and medium enterprise projects in local communities.
An additional benefit to joining Santander’s network of partner universities is the bank’s strong links with universities and industry in Brazil and other Latin American countries. In March 2012, a number of Queen Mary staff travelled to Brazil to explore the possibility of recruiting students under a new Brazilian scholarship scheme.
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