Santander is considering whether to exit investment advice in a move which could cost around 800 advisers their current roles.
Earlier today New Model Adviser® revealed Santander was being investigated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) following a mystery shopper exercise into its advice.
In December 2012 the bank suspended its advice force as it was not ready for the retail distribution review (RDR).
The 800 advisers were summoned to a meeting in Birmingham today were they were told the bank had put the division under ‘strategic review’.
They were told the bank could not be certain it would continue providing face-to-face advice.
Santander said: ‘We can no longer be certain with regards timeframes and whether we will definitely continue providing face-to-face advice we have told all staff within the bancassurance division that we are reviewing the strategic options for the business.’
A spokesman said: ‘There is never a good time to announce changes such as this and we are acutely aware of the uncertainty staff are facing. We are working closely with other business areas to ensure that many of those who may be impacted are able to secure roles in a growing Santander Group.
‘We thank them for their continued professionalism and cooperation. Santander UK will continue to review how and to whom it can provide face-to-face advice, within the new regulatory framework, in a way that benefits and protects customers, our colleagues and indeed Santander itself.’