Santander UK is fined £1.5m by City watchdog

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The Independent Online

The City watchdog has fined Santander UK £1.5m for failing to make it clear to investors who bought its structured investment products whether they were covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

The bank sold £2.7bn worth of the investments, which generally offer superior returns based on the increase in value of underlying assets such as the stock market, property or bonds.

The FSA said yesterday that despite the fact that Santander received many queries from its customers asking if they were covered by the compensation scheme following the financial crisis in 2008 it did not clarify the position until early 2010. That meant literature was potentially misleading and staff at the UK bank had not been fully briefed as to what they could say to potential investors.

During that time Santander sold 178,000 of this type of investment and significantly, the FSA said, it sold £1.2bn worth after June 2009 when it had concluded the circumstances in which its two products, Guaranteed Capital Plus and the Guaranteed Growth Plan, would be covered by the FSCS were limited.

The FSA said there had been no mis-selling of the investments and no one had lost money.

The bank said: "Santander is disappointed with the outcome and has registered its opposition to the FSA's findings. but we will not challenge the decision nor the fine."

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