Santander has been referred to enforcement following a Financial Services Authority (FSA) mystery shopping exercise into the quality of advice given by the bank.
The regulator is understood to be taking enforcement action against the bank after it published the findings of a review into the investment advice given by six of the UK banks and building societies.
The review found that in 11% of mystery shops the advisers gave the customer unsuitable advice and in 15% of mystery shops the adviser did not gather enough information to give suitable advice.
A spokesman from Santander said he could not comment on any FSA enforcement but said the bank was considering the impact of these findings on its operations.
'Whilst Santander is disappointed with the findings of the FSA’s mystery shop, we have considered the findings in the context of the significant actions we took in 2012 to prepare for the post retail distribution review world,’ he said.
'We continue to believe it is important to offer customers access to a broad range of financial products which are suitable to their needs and individual situations, and we are working towards that objective.'
In December 2012 Santander pulled 800 advisers from giving investment advice with immediate effect and revealed it was not ready to meet the retail distribution review deadline.
The bank said it was putting its investment advisers through ‘intensive bespoke training programme’ but did not outline a date for their return.
This was a U-turn from its announcements in September 2012 when Santander announced plans to launch a restricted advice service for customers with more than £25,000 by the end of 2012.