Customers at Royal Bank of Scotland can prevent their accounts from being moved to Santander if they specifically ask to do so.

All the RBS branches in England and Wales were purchased by the Spanish bank in August of this year for £1.65 billion – the European commission instructed the bank to sell its branches after being bailed out by the taxpayer during the recession.

The two million customers affected by the purchase of the branches will automatically see their accounts transferred over if they fail to request otherwise.

The deal struck up between RBS and Santander, which also includes branches of Natwest in Scotland, does not allow for the British bank to encourage customers to stay.

Customer Chris Surrey, whilst speaking to the Money Box programme on Radio 4, said: “I thought that I had the right to change bank accounts when I felt like it, but for a bank to sell me off as some kind of commodity seemed to me to be a very impertinent action by them”.

A spokesman for the RBS group said: “Customers have the right to choose where they receive their banking services from. However, as part of the agreement reached with the European Commission, RBS has agreed not to actively solicit customers”.

Account holders at the bank can contact the customer helpline and request a form to continue banking with RBS if they wish to do so.