The UK arm of multinational bank Santander has reported losses in its first quarter, with a profit before tax down 35 per cent year-on-year.

The commercial bank said that a highly competitive mortgage market, demanding regulatory change and economic uncertainty in the UK had been a factor in the results.

In its quarterly management statement, the bank said its new strategy will focus on simplifying, digitising and automating its processes.

Santander UK, which has around 15 million active customers, hopes the updates will help it to recoup its losses by improving customer experience and satisfaction, profitable growth in retail banking and improved returns for the corporate business.

The bank's CEO Nathan Bostock said the results demonstrate how quickly the banking sector is changing.

"The way customers are banking is changing at pace, and so must we. By becoming a simpler and more focused organisation, stepping up our digital transformation, and innovating faster, we are well-placed to deliver on our medium-term targets and to help more people and businesses prosper," he said.

“In this context, we have accelerated our multi-year strategic transformation programme, with a focus on simplifying, digitising and automating the bank for our customers, to deliver on our strategic priorities and significantly improve operational efficiency over time."

Last year the banking group acquired London start-up Albert - an invoicing and expenses app - for an undisclosed sum.