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FCA fines Santander £12.4 million for five major advice failings

by Dylan Lobo on Mar 26, 2014 at 09:24

FCA fines Santander £12.4 million for five major advice failings

Santander UK has been fined £12.4 million for providing unsuitable advice.

The regulator uncovered serious failings in the way it offered financial advice from its bank.

In particular, there was a significant risk of Santander UK giving unsuitable advice to its customers, its approach to considering investors’ risk appetites was inadequate, and for some people, it failed to regularly check that investments continued to meet their needs - despite promising to do so.

The fine is one of the largest enforced on a UK retail bank for providing unsuitable advice.

The watchdog uncovered the failings through a mystery shopping probe and thematic review of the wealth management sector. 

When the FSA first put its concerns to Santander UK in late 2012, the firm immediately decided to stop giving financial advice in branches to prevent further problems occurring. In March 2013 Santander shut down the division, which contained 800 advisers.

The FCA’s investigation found that Santander UK had: 

* failed to make sure that its advisers were fully getting to grips with customers’ personal circumstances before making a recommendation, including understanding how much risk they were willing to take; 

* failed to ensure that customers investing were given clear and not misleading information about its products and services;

* for Premium Investments, failed to carry out regular ongoing checks to ensure the investment was still meeting customer needs;

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3 comments so far. Why not have your say?

Mark Berezicki

Mar 26, 2014 at 10:06

Maybe Jessica Ennis could do a new ad where she extols the virtues of a bank that provides suitable advice?

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Alex Morrison WM

Mar 26, 2014 at 13:42

"Premium" customers were charged a fee for regular reviews well before RDR was even dreamed up. Yet they still got little or no service. Some of them never saw an adviser from one year to the next despite being told they would.

I'll place a bet that Jess Ennis won't give a monkeys about this as she's at least getting paid!

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Pagan Rites

Mar 26, 2014 at 14:28

Possibly coincidencental but when Barclays Wealth Advisory was on the way out and certainly upon its demise, many jumped ship and were taken on by Santander - given Barclays sizeable fines for irregularities, would this be a case of same **** different bin? Just a thought.

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