Santander UK and Virgin Money have announced a pay raise for employees to help them deal with the rising cost of living. 

The UK arm of the Spanish bank Santander would be giving a 4% hike to more than 11,000 employees or 60% of the bank’s workforce from 1 August 2022. 

Employees earning below £35,000 will be eligible for the raise, which covers the majority of Santander UK’s customer-facing branch and contact centre staff. 

The bank is also planning to increase its entry-level pay to £19,500 from 1 August 2022. 

Santander UK chief executive Mike Regnier said: “The increased cost of living is impacting households across the country, so we have looked at how best we can help the majority of our own people who play such important roles for Santander. 

“This 4% pay raise will make a real difference to the majority of our customer facing and contact centre staff who are committed to helping our customers and businesses prosper in the current economic climate.” 

Challenger bank Virgin Money has announced a £1,000 one-off bonus for employees whose annual pay is £50,000 or less. 

Around 6,000 employees or 78% of Virgin Money’s workforce will receive the bonus as part of their August pay. 

“The increase in the cost of living is on everyone’s minds, whether in political circles, in the media, or in the local supermarket,” Virgin Money CEO David Duffy was quoted by Reuters as saying in an internal memo.

Santander UK and Virgin Money are the latest to announce pay raises. Their peers including NatWest, Barclays and Lloyd’s Banking Group have already announced similar measures. 

Earlier this month, NatWest announced an unscheduled pay raise to help employees deal with soaring inflation.