Santander has confirmed it has pulled out of investment advice but has set up a “financial planning” arm of 150 staff to deal with existing customers resulting in the loss of 724 jobs, Money Marketing can reveal.
The bank has completed the strategic review it began in December when Money Marketing revealed it suspended all 874 investment advisers as they were not RDR ready. It told staff in February that they were at risk of redundancy. The firm also faces an FSA investigation over its investment advice.
An individual consultation period is already underway for all staff that will run up until 6 May 2013. The bank is consulting with trade unions but if staff are unable to find suitable alternative roles then notice of redundancy will be served on 7 May 2013.
The new financial planning team will consist of 150 staff, with affected individuals being considered for these roles. In addition, staff could be relocated to other divisions within Santander in retail, including the mass affluent ‘Select’ division and business banking.
There is also a freeze on external recruitment within the retail division as it seeks to redeploy bancassurance staff.
A Santander UK spokeswoman says: “There is never a good time to announce changes such as this and we are acutely aware of the uncertainty staff are facing. We are working closely with other business areas to ensure that many of those who may be impacted are able to secure roles in a growing Santander Group and we are committed to redeploying as many colleagues as possible.
“We will continue to consult with the unions during this period of change and we will be offering full outplacement support. We thank colleagues for their continued professionalism and cooperation.
“Santander UK will continue to provide advice to existing customers with maturing investments. We will also continue to explore how and to whom we can provide face-to-face advice, within the new regulatory framework, in a way that benefits and protects customers, our colleagues and indeed Santander itself.”
FSA figures show the number of bank and building society advisers fell by 44 per cent from an estimated 8,658 in 2011 to 4,809 on the first day the RDR was introduced.