The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has fined Santander £32,817,800 for failing to effectively process the accounts and investments of deceased customers.
Santander did not transfer funds totalling over £183m to beneficiaries when it should have done. 40,428 customers were directly affected. Santander also failed to disclose information relating to the issues with the probate and bereavement process to the FCA after it became aware of them.
Santander did not contest the FCA’s findings and qualified for a 30% discount. Otherwise, the FCA would have imposed a financial penalty of £46,882,500 on Santander.
Mark Steward, executive director of enforcement and market oversight at the FCA, said: “These failings took too long to be identified and then far too long to be fixed. To the firm’s credit, once these problems were notified to the board and senior management, they were fixed properly and promptly. But recognition of the problem took too long.
“Firms must be able to identify and respond to problems more quickly especially when they are causing harm to customers. The FCA will continue to be on the lookout for firms with poor systems and controls and will take action to deter such failings to ensure customers are properly protected.”