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Santander fined for financial advice failings


The Financial Conduct Authority has fined Santander £12,377,800 after the bank was found to be failing to offer adequate financial advice to its customers.

The FCA reported a concern over Santander’s approach to considering investors’ risk appetites.

There was a significant concern that customers were not being given the correct advice based on their appetite for risk. Additionally, some people were not provided with regular checks to ensure investments met their needs, even though this was promised.

These concerns were first outlined in 2012, to which Santander UK decided to stop giving financial advice from its branches with immediate effect. This was hoped to prevent problems such as this recurring in the future.

Santander has now agreed with the FCA to contact all customers who have been affected by this, offering repayments where any sales are found to be inadequate.

However, because stock markets have risen recently, customer losses are likely to be few and far between – so any redress for customers will most likely be minimal.

Tracey McDermott, the FCA’s Director of Enforcement and Financial Crime was critical of Santander. She commented that “Santander let its customers down badly.”

She also stated: "Customers trusted Santander to help them manage their money wisely, but it failed to live up to that responsibility. If trust in financial services is going to be restored, which it must be, then customers need to be confident that those advising them understand, and are driven by, what they need.”

Getting Adequate Financial Advice

If you are unsure of how to invest your money or which financial plans are most suitable for you, it may be worth contacting a financial adviser to help you make these important decisions.

The FCA recently made improvements over how you get advice. This includes improvements to the minimum standard of advice, meaning you should have access to better quality advice. Additionally, you will now be told upfront how much advice costs and what you are paying for.

Need advice?

Our team of qualified financial advisers are able to offer expert financial advice on a range of topics including mortgages, savings, investments and pensions.

If you need to ask a financial question then please contact our financial advisers online or over the phone to get help with your query.

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