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Santander considers pulling out of face-to-face advice

by Michelle Abrego on Feb 13, 2013 at 12:18

Santander considers pulling out of face-to-face advice

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.’

9 comments so far. Why not have your say?

Christopher Petrie via mobile

Feb 13, 2013 at 12:35

I've thought for years:

RDR is the enemy of the banks and, potentially, the friend of the IFA.

Why some folk thought the banks would be RDR winners always baffled me.

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sol trader

Feb 13, 2013 at 12:57

I suspect the banks will be tempted to follow the post rdr route of offering "non advised" products where it appears you are still permitted to lead customers into investments using the same techniques employed by magicians with playing cards, you still earn commission, and the customer takes all the risk!

Of course, the regulator will step in a few years down the line and fine them anyway

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Sweet Revenge via mobile

Feb 13, 2013 at 13:00

I left working with Santander as a third party resource, last July. I highlighted advice and process issues to the Divisional Manager but he got the hump.

All things come around Mr F!! Ha ha!!

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Jonathan Kirby

Feb 13, 2013 at 13:02

Banks will still come out the winners in the post RDR but not in the way we originally thought.

RDR has made small cases non-viable for IFAs so banks will still push unsuitable products on their 'punters', but there will be no advice process at all and therefore commission still deducted and caveat emptor will apply.

Time to buy bank shares anyone?

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Feb 13, 2013 at 14:10

@ Sweet Revenge.

Glad to see someone with a good attitude on here. Go celebrate, Mr F will be feeling sick!

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banks mad

Feb 13, 2013 at 15:24

the head of Bancassurance resigns the night before this report and all advisers given notice. brave man. and he's ex FSA. was this not the same compan who suspend protection sales last year as they could not get them correct.

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Yaya Toure's wallet

Feb 13, 2013 at 15:57

Not sure that many bank customers will ever 'buy' an investment or pension product from a bank that is not 'advising' them. Clearly these people have not been advised put sold the product previously and so with no one left to sell the products then there will be very very few willing buyers of those products.

The people to feel sorry for are those who have already invested and so will be left high and dry with legact products; no adviser available; and probably an unwillingness to engage with or indeed pay for independent financial advice.

I say all this having worked as an adviser at Abbey National between 1995 - 2003 and one who left voluntarily to become an IFA having seen the light!!!

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Jonathan Kirby

Feb 13, 2013 at 16:17

@ Yaya T W

But leaflets will be stuck in the poor customers hands with a nudge and a wink - this is not advice but that's what I would do if it were my money. As if!

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Feb 13, 2013 at 16:36

Jonathan, so it was you who sold me that rotten structured 6 year euro linked SCARPS in 2004 was it. The leaflet looked so promising as well. I suppose it is some concilation that you lost your money as well!

Only kidding Jo

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