Santander UK confirms investment advice return

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Santander has confirmed it will return to the UK investment advice market less than two years after being hit with a £12.4m fine by the FCA, the FT reports.

Reports first emerged in September last year that the bank was eyeing a return to the market in response to an expected slowdown in current account applications.

According to the FT, Santander will have a force of 225 investment advisers across the country by the end of March.

The advisers will be restricted to advising on Santander’s own products and will cater for people with more than £50,000 to invest. The firm is also launching a direct-to-consumer platform which will offer access to more than 2,000 funds.

Santander UK managing director of wealth management Alan Mathewson says: “Online investing is likely to represent 25 per cent of the UK investments market over the next couple of years and as a scale challenger, we want to be at the forefront of this trend, providing a simple and convenient way for our customers to access the investment market.”

The move comes less than three years after the bank pulled out of investment advice, taking 800 advisers off the road because they were not fully trained to comply with the RDR.

The FCA fine for poor investment advice followed a year later.

In results published in October last year, Santander revealed it had set aside £43m for investment advice compensation after agreeing a revised redress scheme with the FCA.

This is in addition to the £45m provision made by the bank for investment advice misselling in February.