FCA fines Santander £33m over deceased customers' accounts

Eugenia Jiménez
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FCA fines Santander £33m over deceased customers' accounts

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has fined Santander £32.8m for failing to pass on inheritances to dead clients' beneficiaries.

Santander did not transfer funds totalling over £183m to beneficiaries when it should have, which affected 40,428 customers. The bank also failed to disclose information to the FCA about issues with the probate and bereavement process when it became aware of them.

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."

“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,” Mark Steward said.

The UK watchdog also said that firms must be able to identify and respond to problems more quickly especially when they are causing harm to customers and that it would continue to oversee those with poor systems and controls in order to take action when needed to ensure customers' protection.  

The bank has now transferred most of the funds to the deceased customers' beneficiaries with the corresponding compensatory interest for the delay and has improved its systems, it has been reported.

"Since 2015, Santander has carried out remediation exercises, to transfer funds from affected accounts to beneficiaries. These exercises are almost complete and where possible Santander has located beneficiaries and transferred funds to them (or is in process of doing so)," said the FCA.