Santander has pulled out of investment advice but set up a “financial planning” arm of 150 staff to deal with existing customers, resulting in 724 job losses.
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 arm will consist of 150 staff and serve existing customers only with the bank no longer offering face to face advice.
A Santander spokeswoman says: “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.”y
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.
Hargreaves Lansdown head of advice Danny Cox says: “It is hardly surprising Santander have done the same as other banks and pull out of advice and it won’t be the last.
“Most people offering advice in banks were just pushing products so while it seems we are losing advisers, I suspect they were just salesmen.”