Bank fined £32.8m for withholding account information and funds
In December, Santander was the latest high street bank to be fined for not acting fairly to its customers – in this case to customers who are now deceased.
In the UK, when someone dies it is the responsibility of those appointed in the deceased’s Will to identify and report on the value of the estate to be passed on to beneficiaries, which is not always a straightforward process. In Santander’s case, they let families down by not identifying accounts held and the values of those accounts. This meant that these accounts could not be accurately reported on probate paperwork, and bank accounts were not transferred to those entitled to receive them.
In the case of one family identified during an investigation prompted by the FCA, Santander failed to report £120,000. However, the bank then wrote to the family concerned no less than 13 years after the account holder had died – and informed the relatives they were holding £120,000.
Fortunately, Santander has fully cooperated with the FCA and have now improved their handling of a deceased’s estate. We hope that other high street banks follow suit to make this difficult process more straightforward.
When supporting families completing probate, we have identified a couple of banks who are extremely supportive and are very efficient in their administration. If you need to open an executor account to collect the proceeds of an estate that you may be handling, we can suggest approaching Metro Bank or Clydesdale Bank.
Of course, if you are an executor for someone who has passed away, you can always speak to our Team or your Adviser, who can take on the Probate for you or provide guidance if needed. Just call the office on 01489 877 547 to book a telephone meeting.
Redwood Financial is one of the Souths leading Pensions, Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning providers and we are dedicated to helping families to grow, protect and enjoy their wealth. With our unrivalled knowledge of pension and financial wealth planning, we can advise on any situation. Join us at one of our Free Public Information Seminars: Book online Book Me A Place!, Call us on 01489877 547 or Email email@example.com to book a FREE Initial Meeting with us to review your financial planning needs.