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Advance Union specialises in the financial services sector, specifically for people in Santander.

Who we are

We act as the “Voice at Work” collectively for our members to help continually improve their working lives. We also offer all our members individual advice, support, representation and a range of fantastic benefits!

Advance Union is a progressive union offering professional advice and support to its members. We believe there’s a right way to achieve results – and that’s through constructive dialogue with employers and other unions. Keeping the lines of communication open, even when we disagree, ensures we can continue to be heard as the “Voice at Work” and make a difference wherever possible.

We ensure you are treated with dignity at work and negotiate agreements determining things like your pay, terms and conditions. Our collective voice at work is vital, and our highly experienced negotiating team agree to deals that are amongst the best in the finance industry.

Although we hope you never run into an issue during your employment, sometimes things do crop up. We’ll be there when you need someone on your side. Advance union members benefit from confidential, professional advice on any work-related issue.

We’re a living wage employer because we believe we should live our values, inside and out. We’re one of more than seven thousand UK businesses that have signed up for a real Living Wage that pays a fair wage for our staff and suppliers as we believe our members deserved the same, too, so we campaigned to ensure Santander did the same too!

What we do

When you join Advance Union, you’re joining more than just a union – you join an extended community with thousands of other members, all with a common goal of improving their daily working lives.

Reps are the beating heart of our union and offer a friendly and sympathetic ear for members. We ensure that when we speak on behalf of our members we represent at work we act with integrity and professionalism. We have many workplace representatives who complement our senior consultants across the country. They are there to listen when things are not going so well.

Our helpline team provides confidential advice, information, and guidance. Senior consultants support more complex issues and where formal representation is needed.

We are a forward-thinking, modern trade union that believes there is a right way to achieve results – and that it is through constructive relationships with employers and other unions. By keeping the lines of communication open, even when we disagree we believe there is often common ground that can be found.

With so many members, Santander sees Advance Union as a strategic partner. The more members we have, the stronger we are when negotiating on the things that matter to you. We believe with more members our representations become more relevant and consistent with the overall views and concerns shared by every one , which is one reason why joining and strengthening your voice at work is essential.

Our members trust us with two primary responsibilities:

Collective representation of members’ when negotiating with their employer. The most obvious of these negotiations usually occur annually. Yes, we are talking about the annual pay review! We know this is important to you, but it also includes consultation on critical matters such as job security and policy.

Individual representation of members in formal procedures. This includes grievance, attendance, performance, or disciplinary meetings. Our highly skilled and knowledgeable consultants ensure you are treated fairly and will hold your hand if you ever need to have formal representation from your union.

There are many other benefits to Advance membership – check out the benefits section

Our Values

We represent and speak on behalf of members within Santander to help continually ensure you have a voice at work!

Security of employment

We believe you should have a sense of security in your employment. We can't guarantee the work you do today is work you will do tomorrow. We think your employer should help you find another job inside the organisation or that if the worst happens, you can leave with decent redundancy for losing your career, giving you time to find a new role.


We are independent, meaning our entire structure is selected and elected by our members only, not anyone in Santander. Everyone from the General Secretary to workplace representatives acts for you and not your employer; this is an essential consideration for members when choosing a union, which means we focus our efforts on supporting members without constraints. Santander is respectful of our independence and understands we will not always agree, although we will try and find common ground and keep the dialogue open.


Union representatives are central to our success and critical to listening to our member's thoughts and acting as their representatives for the workplace. They're our beating heart and a big part of the Advance Union community and help create our strength in numbers.


Nobody should have to go to work and face bullying or harassing behaviour, nor should they feel afraid to be themselves at work and speak their voice. Advance Union campaigns for dignity at work for all workers, so we are all treated with respect.

Fair Reward

We should all be paid fairly for the work we do. Advance Union has a strong track record in negotiating improvements to pay and has campaigned through the TUC for the legal right to equal pay for men and women. We proudly brought proposals on pay progression, the real living wage, and sector-leading family pay awards to Santander. We continue to strive for a fair reward for all our members.


Advance opposes all forms of prejudice and unfair discrimination whether on the grounds of sex, race, ethnic or national origin, religion, colour, class, caring responsibilities, marital status, sexuality, disability, age, gender identity, or other group or any other personal characteristic. We fully support Santander's vision of a fully inclusive culture and continue to campaign for ways to improve a workplace where you are seen by all for the talent you bring to work, not your characteristics.


Advance Union truly believes in everyone being treated fairly while at work. We recognise that everyone will have their perspective on what is fair. We work as a community to listen to everyone's views and have a base of local and national representatives to help us ensure we act pretty and strike arrangements with Santander that are as fair as possible To help ensure we strike the right balance.


Acting with integrity is at the heart of everything we do. Integrity and ethical behaviour are vital to establishing trust in both personal and business relationships and therefore create a reputation of reliability and fairness. As a union in the finance sector, we hold this close to everything we do.

Our History

Advance Union can trace its roots to 1977. Abbey National employees who wanted an independent employee voice to represent them collectively in their dealings with management. They formed A.N.S.A. (Abbey National Staff Association). The following year, it received a Certificate of Independence from the government regulator to show we were not part of Abbey National.

In 1997, Abbey National Staff Association established a new leadership team, led by Linda Rolph, which began modernising the union. We also changed our name to Abbey National Group Union (A.N.G.U.). We are proud to note that when we affiliated with the Trades Union Congress in January 1998, we were the first finance Union to do so.

Santander Purchased Abbey National Group in 2004, and they went on to buy Alliance & Leicester and the branch network and savings business of Bradford & Bingley.

At this time, A.N.G.U was merged with the “Union for Bradford and Bingley Staff and Associated Companies (U.B.A.C.)”, representing staff in Bradford & Bingley since 1977. Following all the name changes, the union formally changed its name to Advance (Union) in 2008.

Advance Union is the largest union representing people in Santander in the U.K. We provide a comprehensive range of services for our members, ranging from negotiation on Pay and Terms & Conditions of employment to personal representation for individuals at many meetings. Irrespective of our name, Advance’s priority has always been to be your voice at work.

Join us today

Take the best decision in your career and join us today. At £6.70 per month, we are great value for our members. Ensure you are part of your voice at work.