A Santander advert has drawn complaints from rival bank Nationwide and is under investigation by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The ad features actor Dominic West, who plays the boss of a fake big bank, mocking customers and planning branch closures.
The controversy began in October when Nationwide released the ad, which faced criticism since its release. Santander argued that the ad was misleading and discredited its competitors. However, Nationwide has acknowledged the complaint while Santander declined to comment on the matter.
In the ad, West presents a large expenses bill for a company lunch while discussing cutbacks and branch closures. These claims come at a time when several High Street banks have announced branch closures due to customers moving to online banking. In contrast, Nationwide has made a “branch promise” to keep all of its existing branches open until at least 2026, unless there are circumstances outside of their control.
A spokesperson for the ASA confirmed that they are investigating the complaint but no official decision has been made yet. Meanwhile, Nationwide emphasizes their belief in face-to-face banking’s importance, especially as big banks continue to close branches.