The Financial Conduct Authority of the United Kingdom (FCA) has imposed Santander Bank a fine of more than 35 million euros for its "serious errors" in the management of the accounts of deceased customers, as announced by that control body.
"It is a fundamental guiding principle in the UK's financial services industry that firms should treat their clients fairly, in this case, Santander failed in its obligation," the final statement issued by the FCA affirms. Wednesday. The obligations of the banks regarding the accounts and investments of their clients, explains the note, do not cease with the death of the client. Entities must comply with a regulated process, the so-called "process of legitimation and mourning", which concludes with the transfer of funds to those who are entitled to receive them. "There were serious failures in the process of legitimization and mourning of Santander and as a result was failed," says the FCA.
40,428 customers were affected by the error, which meant a total of 203 million euros that were not transferred at the right time.
"Santander agreed to a prior agreement in a previous phase of the FCA investigation, and therefore was entitled to a 30% discount, according to the entity's executive rules regarding compliance agreements. this discount, the FCA would have imposed a financial penalty of 52 million euros ".
The FCA recognizes, in any case, that the financial institution had problems similar to those of other entities with a process that is complex. "The FCA accepts that the development of the process of legitimization and mourning has been and continues to be a challenge for the entire industry, it is not in dispute that Santander made considerable efforts to improve it as a whole. This statement makes reference, it is clear that the behavior of Santander was below the regulatory requirements, "he concludes.
The entity has issued a statement in which it accepts the conclusions of the FCA and apologizes to the affected customers. "Santander of the United Kingdom admits the discoveries of the FCA in its final communiqué of December 19, 2018 and apologizes to the families and beneficiaries of the deceased clients that were affected by the errors detected in the processes of legitimization and mourning Santander has completed a complete tracking exercise and has successfully completed the transfer of the majority of the funds deposited in the accounts of deceased clients. their legitimate beneficiaries, with compensatory interests in the appropriate cases, "says the bank.