Santander UK plc acknowledges the findings of the Financial Conduct Authority in its final notice dated 19 December 2018 and apologises to the families and beneficiaries of deceased customers affected by failings in its historical probate and bereavement processes.
Santander has completed a comprehensive tracing exercise and has already successfully transferred the majority of funds in deceased customers’ accounts to their rightful beneficiaries, with compensatory interest where appropriate.
The bank has also conducted a root and branch review of its probate and bereavement processes and systems, making a number of significant improvements. As a result:
- Customer representatives can now notify Santander of a death in the way that is most convenient for them, whether in branch, via the post, over the phone or via an online tool. They need only tell us once and we will manage the whole of a customer’s portfolio;
- We now have a dedicated bereavement team who have received specialist training to ensure that they provide the best service to bereaved customer representatives and their families; and
- All of our cases are now managed by our specialist team from beginning to end, to ensure that we are providing both a sensitive and an efficient service.
As acknowledged by the FCA in its findings, creating effective probate and bereavement processes remains an industry-wide challenge. We are working with our peers and sharing our experience through forums run by UK Finance (and the BBA prior to this). We have helped to create a cross-industry set of Bereavement Principles and are supporting the industry-wide death notification service launched in June 2018.
Nathan Bostock, Santander UK CEO, said: “Santander is very sorry for the impact these failings have had on the families and beneficiaries affected. We accept the FCA’s findings and have fully cooperated with their investigation. We have now transferred the majority of customer funds and made significant improvements to our whole probate and bereavement process, ensuring we provide both a sensitive and efficient service to our bereaved customer representatives and those who are managing the estates of people who have passed away.”
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Santander UK is a financial services provider in the UK that offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. It has brought real competition to the UK, through its innovative products for retail customers and relationship banking model for UK SMEs. At 30 June 2018, the bank has c24,200 employees. It serves around 15 million active customers, via a nationwide branch network, telephone, mobile and online banking; and 64 regional Corporate Business Centres. Santander UK is subject to the full supervision of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) in the UK. Santander UK plc customers are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the UK.
Banco Santander (SAN SM, STD US, BNC LN) is a leading retail and commercial bank, founded in 1857 and headquartered in Spain. It has a meaningful market share in 10 core markets in Europe and the Americas, and is the largest bank in the euro zone by market capitalization. At the end of June 2018, Banco Santander had EUR 981 billion in customer funds (deposits and mutual funds), 140 million customers, 13,500 branches and 200,000 employees. Banco Santander made attributable profit of EUR 3,752 million in the first half of 2018, an increase of 4% compared to the same period last year.
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