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Santander fined for poor probate process

View profile for Katie Hayden
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The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has fined Santander £32.8 million for its flawed probate and bereavement services. Santander was found to have stalled or failed to complete the probate process despite being informed of the death of customers between 2013 and 2016. This resulted in the bank withholding millions of pounds in deceased customers’ accounts.

The FCA found that 40,428 deceased customers were directly affected, with over £183 million failing to be transferred from the deceased customers’ accounts to the beneficiaries of their estates. In some cases, money was held for several years, leaving families and beneficiaries unable to access it and often not aware that they even existed.

At Birkett Long, there have been occasions where Santander accounts have come to light after matters have been finalised and final distributions made. We have been successful in ensuring that these funds are distributed to beneficiaries accordingly. We hope that the fines imposed on Santander will deter further failings like this by institutions in the future. 

Should you require any assistance with, or wish to talk to someone about, administering an estate, then please do not hesitate to contact us.  I am based at our Chelmsford office and can be reached on 01245 453 837 or