Santander admits to major statement error
High-street bank Santander has sent up to 35,000 account statements to the wrong addresses.
The bank blames a printing error for the glitch. It means that thousands of Santander customers have been sent details of names, current account numbers and transactions of up to three other customers.
Santander has labelled the mistake "embarrassing" and the Spanish banking giant will write to the customers involved to apologise, and has reassured customers there is no risk of fraud as a result of the printing error and that this is a "one–off incident."
A Santander spokesperson says: "We are sorry for any inconvenience this has caused and have taken immediate steps to correct this. We take the security of customer and account information extremely seriously so any incident of this nature is treated with the highest priority."
The error could now land the bank with a huge fine from city watchdog the Financial Services Authority (FSA), which takes a tough line on companies that reveal customers' personal data.
This is not the first time Santander has come under scrutiny for its poor customer service: in the first half of this year, the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) received 245,000 complaints relating to the bank. In addition, it won the dubious honour of 'Worst Provider for Overall Customer Service' in this year's Moneywise Customer Service Awards.
The Financial Services Authority is an independent non-governmental body, given a wide range of rule-making, investigatory and enforcement powers in order to meet its four statutory objectives: market confidence (maintaining confidence in the UK financial system), financial stability, consumer protection and the reduction of financial crime. The FSA receives no government funding and is funded entirely by the firms it regulates, but is accountable to the Treasury and, ultimately, parliament.
If you’ve have a complaint about a financial service product you have bought but the company you bought it from refuses to resolve your problem after eight weeks, the Ombudsman can help. The Ombudsman will investigate and resolve the matter. The Ombudsman is independent and its service is free to consumers. The Ombudsman may find in the company’s favour but consumers don’t have accept its decision and are always free to go to court instead. But if they do accept an Ombudsman’s decision, it is binding both on them and on the business.
An account opened with a clearing bank (few building societies offer current accounts) that provides the ability to draw cash (usually via a debit card) or cheques from the account. Some pay fairly minimal rates of interest if the account is in credit. Most current accounts insist your monthly income (salary or pension) is paid directly in each month and they offer a number of optional services – such as overdrafts and charge cards – which are negotiable but will incur fees.