Santander private bank customers report being locked out of accounts for two weeks

5 May 2020

Cater Allen users run into trouble following bank IT upgrade


Users of Santander’s private banking arm Cater Allen have reported being locked out of their accounts or struggling to make payments following an IT upgrade.

One user says he was unable to get into his account for more than two weeks and could not get through to the customer services department.

Ian Jones from, 62, from Hove in East Sussex, says that following a Cater Allen IT upgrade in February he had problems entering his password and was booted out of the system.

“Whilst I was away on holiday with my wife the bank changed its password system. I forgot about this when I came back and was locked out after I entered the wrong one.

“I tried phoning and sending an email but after two weeks Cater Allen had not responded. I then sent another email and the following day I got a phone call from a woman who was very helpful and managed to sort it out very quickly.

“But for two weeks there was no acknowledgement of my email and during that time we were not able to access our money.”

Last year Cater Allen started upgrading its IT infrastructure and is moving its customers onto a new system in batches.

However, the ongoing migration has been beset by problems, with some users reporting that they have had difficulty using the new website.

Another user says that following the IT upgrade there had been problems in processing payments due to the new portal.


Last year, Cater Allen customers complained on social media they were unable to see their accounts on their mobile phones and could only access their cash through their desktop computers.

Some customers also reported not being able to see their bank balances and transactions, while others had problems using the new menu system.

Cater Allen says it wrote to customers before moving them to the new platform to help them use the new system.

A Cater Allen spokesperson says: “Over the past year, we have been gradually moving Cater Allen customers to a new online banking platform which offers improved functionality and enhanced security features to a wider group of customers compared to our previous platform.

“Thousands of customers are successfully logging onto the new platform every day, with very few reporting problems, although we continue to gather and act upon feedback from customers to further refine and improve their online banking experience.

“A small number of customers have been locked out of their accounts for security reasons when they have incorrectly entered their security credentials too many times. They can quickly get back online by calling our contact centre.”

Following customer feedback Cater Allen has introduced additional on-screen guidance for users who may have forgotten passwords.

Cater Allen was an independent bank until it was acquired by Abbey National in 1997. Abbey National then sold it to Santander in 2004.

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