- For other meanings, see Cahoots.
Cahoot is the internet division of Abbey National plc, a United Kingdom bank which since 2004 is a subsidiary of Banco Santander of Spain. Cahoot was launched in 2000 as the Internet bank of Abbey, and at the end of 2004 had some 650,000 customers. Cahoot is based in Coventry, England.
At launch, Cahoot offered interest-free overdrafts and credit cards to its first 25,000 customers. However, the launch was marred by technical issues that prevented many prospective customers accessing the website.
In November 2004, Cahoot was hit by a security scare whereby customers' statements and balances could be accessed without going through security procedures, following an update to its online banking
Prior to takeover by Santander, Cahoot recovered from its launch and security issues to achieve over 600,000 accounts and a significant share of the unsecured lending market in the UK. It was consistently rated in Consumers' Association and Guardian surveys in the top three best banks in the UK for service and pricing.
Initially led by Tim Murley, the bank was taken over by Tim Sawyer in 2002 who was later succeeded by John Goddard in 2005. Murley remains at Abbey as head of wealth management whilst Sawyer left at start of 2005.
The future of Cahoot remains unclear, as bad debt has affected profitability. Santander states it remains committed to the brand, but marketing spend has largely ceased, with most marketing staff being redeployed elsewhere.
Cahoot offers current accounts
, savings accounts
, and the Webcard
. Cahoot's innovative Webcard generates a one-use card number for each online transaction (Controlled Payment Number
): this is designed to combat fraud.
In 2006, Cahoot ceased all new sales of credit cards, personal loans and mortgages, and it now redirects enquiries for such products to its parent bank, Abbey. It has increased many of its interest rates for existing customers.