View more on these topics

Santander suspends its 800 investment advisers due to RDR

Santander 480

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.


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


There are 24 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Did they all swear at Alan L ?!!

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

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

  5. If only you posted the full story, the FSA pressure the countless failed mystery shops, the miss-selling.

    I work for them(on a IT basis) I heard the conference call today. Dont give those people the credit of saying its for re-training. The FSA forced this for their evil ways

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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 !!!

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

  10. 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?

  11. Given that the RDR cost benefit analysis fogure had jumped six-fold between 2007 and 2009 how many guesses as the additional £bns that are being used/wasted/pi**ed away in the interim for no beneficial purprose?

    FSA – care to comment?

  12. RDR was the answer to a perceived problem prior to the collapse of FSA regulated UK banking industry, and prior to the near collapse of world capitalism. The fact that RDR is still around even after all that, and is about to appear in a few weeks, marks the start of the biggest catastrophe ever in UK financial services industry. Surely the people who were responsible for regulating the banks prior to their demise (apart from taxpayer bailouts) should have no say whatsover in the future of financial services! This is an enormous catastrophe. Collective insanity.

  13. Bank advice, in particular, needed fixing. Total annilhilation doesn’t do anyone any good – what do you care though if you are an unaccountable, job-for-life, quangocrat in CanaryWharf leeching a living off the fees charged to Joe Public for whom you are creating an expensive advice wasteland? You can see it now, grinning like a Cheshire Cat, ‘we’re here to help you poor little consumer’ whilst the other hand is lifting the wallet from the back pocket. One thing is a dead cert, Joe Public will have not saved or insured any more in 20 years than they do now, and considerably less than 20 years ago, before the pointless leeches got on the bandwagon / self serving gravy train of regulation.

  14. What is wrong with the financial services industry and IFA’s? In any other industry if half your competition was wiped out or pulled out of the market you would be thinking ‘brilliant less competition’, but oh no the IFA community just moans and says ‘how can we make a living, when no one is knocking on my door offering to give me money?’

    Completely and utterly bemused!

  15. this was down to their latest mystery shop , having seen some of the results from these previously its no suprise. they will be back after retraining , until the next mystery shop !

  16. What other industry could survive the total collapse of the wholesale market? Just imagine all newsagents being told that from now on there will be no wholesale supplies, you will only be able to make money on delivery charges to customers!

  17. @ Bemused

    Do you actually feel that wiping out half the adviser population makes for a better world?

    Maybe for you but how about the advisers who have been forced out by a myopic regulator?

  18. If they are off the road and still being paid salaries, with the “vertical integration” issues the FSA have highlighted, the cost of them being off the road will have to appear as part of the cost of advice, it can’t be born by a cross subsidy from the banking sector.
    If this goes on for a month or two, how will they account for that, as a one off cost in the first year or amortised over a period of time?

  19. If all the banks pull their advisers (semi)permanantly, then the FSCS levy for advisers will only be met by the surviving IFAs. Once the weight of that gets to much, the domino effect could result in lowads more IFA firms stopping trading at which point the FCA can step in to resolve the FSAs mess and agree with the banks a simplified guidance service for the majority of consuemrs that will be massively more expensive than the advised model, but leave the banks with the risk.

  20. RegulatorSaurusRex 10th December 2012 at 3:31 pm

    By my sundial I reckon it took almost TWO YEARS for this to happen, no wonder I’m extinct!

  21. If these were IFAs they would be shut down and publicly admonished, heads on pikes for all to see..

    Has the FSA had a look at their complaints departments? No, I thought not.

  22. Santander are now trying to suggest to their staff they’ve moved on and are service focused. The focus is now on tele harassment calls to poor unsuspecting customers in their homes – all with the aim of the new directive – fill the diaries at all costs! Sales targets with a new name to keep the media away.

  23. RDR was always going to have this outcome. Guess who will come out worse off – Joe public, as advice becomes more difficult to obtain.
    More professional the FSA thought, like solicitors and accountants, what they failed to realise is that people see them when they have to, not because they want to! The FSA have used a sledge hammer to crack a walnut as usual. The issue was that commission for certain products were greater than others – so why not make it the same across the board?!
    The banks are in it for profit and if it is not profitable they will pull the plug – not rocket science.
    Going forward, individuals will not have written business targets anymore, but the banks will now target activity and fee agreements signed – whats the difference?
    Its like a Laurel and Hardy episode – ‘that’s another fine mess you got me in to’ comes to mind…

Leave a comment


Why register with Money Marketing ?

Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

Money Marketing Events
Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

Research and insight
Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

Have your say
Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

Register now

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm