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Santander suspends its 800 investment advisers due to RDR

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Santander has suspended its investment advice service and pulled 800 advisers off the road with immediate effect because they are not fully trained to meet RDR standards, Money Marketing can reveal.

The bank says all advisers have the appropriate qualifications but do not meet the requirements for “RDR suitability and processes”. They will now complete an intensive bespoke training programme to bring them up to the required standards. No date has been set for their return.

A Santander spokesman says: “Ahead of the implementation of the RDR in January, we are taking the time to consider the right solution for all our stakeholders.

“As part of this process it was identified that our advisers require additional support and training to meet the expected standards. We will therefore be undertaking an additional intensive bespoke training programme. We apologise to customers for any inconvenience this may cause them.”

In September, Santander outlined its plans to offer face-to-face investment advice post-RDR to customers with existing savings and investments of at least £25,000.

The investment advice service will be restricted to products from Santander Asset Management.

In August 2011 Santander UK was forced to stop selling and advising on Aviva protection policies in-branch due to concerns over advisers’ lack of product knowledge.

Last month, Lloyds Banking Group axed its mass market investment advice service, only offering advice to consumers with £100,000 through its private banking services.

Barclays closed its financial planning arm in January 2011, only offering advice to high net worth clients through Barclays Wealth.

In November, HSBC scrapped plans for a whole of market IFA arm as it didn’t meet FSA independence standards. It now plans to move to a restricted advice service post-RDR.

In June, the Royal Bank of Scotland closed its 118-strong IFA arm as it moves to a restricted advice model as part of its RDR overhaul. The bank also cut its financial planning arm in half, shedding 618 jobs.

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Readers' comments (23)

  • Did they all swear at Alan L ?!!

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  • Based on previous cicumstances where this has happened I suspect the FSA made Santander pull them off the road, & all at the same time.

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  • Interesting that in both cases the company are blaming the advisers for a poor level of training. The expectations of four appointments a day, RDR qualification, Aviva reauthorisation, 5 sales a week etc etc gives a clue as to why quality has slipped. Also if you want to develop a culture if putting the customer first why have targets that only 10% of advices can hit. A poor tradesman always blames his tools...

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  • It's not the staffs fault. They have done everything asked if them but the management have failed the staff at every level. Due to system failures and extremely poor training Santander are not ready. Therefore the staff are blamed for the failures of management.

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  • all advisers have the appropriate qualifications but do not meet the requirements for “RDR suitability and processes”
    Is this not an oxymoron?
    Nothing like failing to plan!! How can they wait so long to get all those clever adisers up to scratch so late in the game?
    Stiil they need to practice their script to sell a stocks and shares Isa to a 90 year old

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  • Leaves an ever growing vacuum in the financial advice sector. IFA's will need to charge increasing fees as the cost of advice increases. Many clients will not be willing to pay for this. The banks won't be interested in advising unless they have serious money. Leaves the consumer worse off. Own goal from the FSA.

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  • Typical Sanrander - announce guidelines for advisers advice post RDR one minute then pull out the advisers the next !! As an ex employee I'm glad I left as this company has lost the plot and is being run by mercenaries !!!

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  • No mention of the Pru Bonds they had to stop selling?

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  • Oh Dear!

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  • So that means that they will have thousands of "orphan clients" with no one to get advice from in 2013. Well done FSA everything is going in directly the opposite direction to the one you mapped out. How long before someone with a brain takes charge of this box of frogs?

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