Sean Gardner, director of MoneyExpert.com, said:
"It is too early to say how the takeover of Alliance & Leicester by Santander will affect consumers."
"There are pros and cons to a large bank bringing two competitors under the same roof. It is true that big banking groups tend to offer similar – or even the same – products across all their different bank brands, thereby reducing the number of products in competition with each other."
"However it is because of the fact that large banking groups can benefit from economies of scale that they are able to offer their customers competitive deals. For example, Bank of Scotland customers aren’t complaining that their bank offers the same 10% AER on its regular saver account as Halifax customers."
"Both Abbey and Alliance & Leicester have product strengths and weaknesses, but the merging of their product portfolio should make for a very strong all rounder. We look forward to seeing how the takeover affects the overall product range as it would be a shame if Santander dilutes what has been a very competitive approach over the past few years from both Abbey and Alliance & Leicester."
"When there are over 150 current accounts, almost 1,000 individual fixed rate mortgage products and over 1,500 instant access savings accounts on the market, there are still plenty of deals to find. The trick for consumers is to ensure they continue to shop around and locate the right product to suit them."