Santander

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I'm not one for naming and shaming but feel in this case it is justified.

I recently lost my dad on the 24th June, and as anyone who has gone through a similar thing will know, besides grieving for your loss there are quite a few things you have to do to sort out their affairs. One of those is dealing with banks...in my case it was Santander. My dad had a current account with below 20k in it with them and also a cash isa he’d used to save for my daughter with less than 2k in it. 

I contacted Santander and was asked to send the death certificate, which I did.
About a week later I was sent a letter saying this was not satisfactory and I needed to visit a branch with it. There was a phone number on the letter which I spent nearly an hour trying to get through on. No answer! So I got childcare for my daughter, as I wanted to spare her the soul(less) joy that has become visiting town centres of late, and off I went! 
At the bank the lady who dealt with me also spent an hour trying to get through to the same number I had been given. When she finally got through she returned to tell me the death certificate was fine but I would need to go through probate to access the accounts, even though both accounts were linked to my mum and all I wanted to do was put her name solely on the accounts. I told her about the accounts and what they contained and was basically told that I did know know my dad's affairs as well as I perhaps thought I did. What? I was getting nowhere so depressingly left to go home. 

Literally as I walked through the door there was a letter waiting from Santander detailing all of my dad's accounts and also telling me I'd need probate.

The thing is, they sent me a list of SEVEN different accounts. Two of which were my dad's and 5 of which where not but had the same forename and christian name as my dad on them. The key difference being these other 5 accounts had a middle name on them - my dad did not have a middle name. 
It did not take me long to realise Santander had my dad and another person tied up as the same person. I should point out here that Santander included the sort code, account number and balances for the other persons account - totalling over 500k.

I finally got through to them on the phone and was passed to the Bereavement team. I told them of my utter disgust at being asked to go into a branch based on them confusing my dad and another person. To then be told something that was totally false about my dad's affairs, and then to be sent extremely sensitive information about someone else's account details. After a bumbling apology I said it as not good enough and I wanted to raise a complaint. I was promised a phone call in a few days but that never came.

Yesterday I received a letter saying they were upholding my complaint, apologised for my 'inconvenience' and said they would be sending a cheque within 7 days to compensate me! They gave the reason for the mix up as a 'system error' and they would look into it. WTF!!

Now I don't care about the money but I do care about what I was put through and the way I was treated because of their mistake. Let alone the potential massive breach in data protection by them. There is the option to take this to the financial ombudsman which I've considered but to be honest I'm totally worn out by it all. The very human side of losing someone very dear to you gets overlooked in all this and it is heartbreaking! 

I just want closure, but after talking with some friends they have suggested than £100 is frankly an insult and if this was taken further they could potentially be  fined a lot more. 

What do others think? Anyone work in the banking/legal sector could offer any advice here?

I'm not interested in financial gain, you cannot put a price on grief and frankly I would give everything I had to spend another hour with my dad. However, I'm not a fan of banks as institutions and I feel Santander have really dropped the ball here and are just basically fobbing me off. 

Apologies for the long post but there was a lot to get in there.



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Comments

  • boogiemanboogieman Frets: 7319
    edited August 2
    That sounds a complete mess. I would still report them, as you say that’s a massive breach of personal data and they shouldn’t get away with shit like that. Take their compensation money too: it doesn’t mean much to you in the grand scheme of things, but it’ll still cause the arseholes the tiniest amount of pain and inconvenience.  

    Banks seem to be either brilliant or awful when it comes to death. When I was sorting out my dad’s finances after he’d died we had to deal with Barclays and TSB. 

    Barclays were brilliant. I went into a branch with my stepmum, they had a dedicated assistant who made all the calls to head office for us and everything was sorted within about 20 minutes. They even offered a short term interest free loan in case we needed to pay for the funeral before the accounts were transferred and sorted out. 

    TSB were dire. They point blank refused to talk to us when we went in and insisted we had to make an appointment with a finance advisor. The first available appointment was three weeks later. When we went to this, the advisor announced he couldn’t actually do anything and we would need to talk to the dedicated bereavement team.WTF??!! Why couldn’t they have just told us this when we went in the first time? TSB also wanted masses of information and photocopies of everything under the sun before they’d release the money in dad’s account. It was £3k, not exactly Escobar’s lost millions.  
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  • DefaultMDefaultM Frets: 3062
    Sorry about your dad. As bad as it is the £100 will most likely just be their first offer to see if they can get you to go away. To get the 'proper' one you'll have to tell them how disgusted you are another 2 or 3 times.
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  • Wow, that's insane. I can't offer advice, but will offer condolences and hope all is resolved soon... 
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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 10126
    My brother dealt with the finances when my father died and has power of attorney for my mother. His major gripe was definitely Barclays and the various hassles they put him through. My father had banked with Barclays for as long as anyone could remember - as a child if we went into the local branch the staff knew him by name - and pretty much any financial transaction he did was through them so it was especially disappointing that they dealt with it so badly. 

    There were various non financial things I dealt with. I remember having to go to the newsagents to cancel the paper ( my mother being blind so a newspaper is not much use to her) and they couldn’t have been more helpful and sympathetic. Why after maybe sixty years of handling his money ( I know it’s not as simple as a newspaper delivery) Barclays couldn’t have made some final effort I don’t know. 

    Sympathies for your loss @Gandalph ;
    When the rich wage war it’s the poor who die. 
    Jean-Paul Sartre 
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  • DB1DB1 Frets: 2261
    That sounds terrible, and I'm sorry for your loss.

    Could I make a suggestion? I know you're not bothered about any financial gain from their errors, but it might be worth getting as much money as you can out of them and then giving it to your dad's favourite charity, or one of yours. At least, in that way, something positive will have come out of it.
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  • stevebrumstevebrum Frets: 5570
    Sorry to hear of this. It’s a poor episode at an extremely sad and trying time. 

    If it was me I’d put it down to a mistake and potentially in part it could be related to the current Covid-19 situation and disruption to business etc. 

    In your shoes I wouldn’t want to invest anymore stress, time and emotion into it.

    That said,  I’m fairly relaxed about most things and don’t tend to get too bogged down with trying to right wrongs. Mistakes happen...
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  • Winny_PoohWinny_Pooh Frets: 4783
    "If you cannot put a price on grief" then move without asking for more compensation. Unless a mistake cost you actual money and not just time, I generally have a problem  with "compensation culture". Companies are filled with humans and they make mistakes just like us. Sorry about your dad, they should have advised you first that in addition the death cert that they need probate or a will to release actual funds.
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  • StratavariousStratavarious Frets: 436
    I am sorry you had to face this at such a time.

    My experience sorting this with Halifax was the polar opposite. We took certificate and ID information to the branch and they sorted it immediately. They fast tracked things that would have been embroiled in probate stuff if we had delayed and could not have been more sympathetic. 

    Put the money to a good cause or on something you’d have spent time with him doing. Make that the memory.
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  • MolochMoloch Frets: 425
    "If you cannot put a price on grief" then move without asking for more compensation. Unless a mistake cost you actual money and not just time, I generally have a problem  with "compensation culture". Companies are filled with humans and they make mistakes just like us. Sorry about your dad, they should have advised you first that in addition the death cert that they need probate or a will to release actual funds.

    Congratulations on the most ignorant and sociopathically tone deaf post I have ever seen on this forum. There is no such thing as 'just time' when dealing with a bereavement. The paperwork is extensive and every complication along the way is a potential grief trigger. The bank process should be relatively simple, but Santander did basically everything wrong, including a catastrophic data protection breach that has compromised the private financial information of another party. The fact that you care more about fighting 'compensation culture' and trying to shame a grieving man into not pursuing more (deserved) compensation than you do about holding a multinational banking giant responsible for gross incompetence is the most bootlicking Daily Mail comment section boomer shit I have seen all year.

    @Gandalph: If you have the will to do it, drag them. They will absolutely pay more out if you pressure them. However, if you don't have the will and/or emotional energy to do it, don't. Just take the compensation offered and buy your mum something nice with it.

    However, and this is the crucial part, whichever way you go with regard to compensation, they must be reported. I know this stuff is hard when you're dealing with a terrible personal situation, but they have violated both banking and data protection regulations, compromising another party who they will almost certainly neither inform of it nor compensate. If they've done it this time, they'll have done it before and they'll do it again. Keep the statements as evidence, as well as a timeline of all interactions with them and report them to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

    My trading feedback thread: http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/107738/darryl-morris

    (Formerly known as Darryl_Morris)
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  • scrumhalfscrumhalf Frets: 6844
    Both personally and professionally I have found Santander to be a nightmare. Their commercial onlne banking facility was, let's not mince words, shit. And they knew it. You could write a manual for user-unfriendliness by taking their online banking user manual and changing half a dozen words.

    When I worked in commercial property we had them as a tenant. I cannot believe that a commercial organisation that leases that many premises has a basic misunderstaning of the lessor-lessee relationship.


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  • DefaultMDefaultM Frets: 3062
    Yeah any breach of GDPR needs to be reported. They're supposed to do it themselves as soon as they're aware of a breach, but it could lead to a hefty fine so it wouldn't be surprising if they didn't.
    They don't always end in a fine, but if they do the maximum is whichever is greater between 20 million or 4% of annual turnover.
    So if you keep at them you should get more than £100 as a distress and inconvenience payment. It's nothing to do with compensation culture, it's holding companies accountable so they do better with data in future.
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  • sev112sev112 Frets: 837
    I wish you well
    my father died in April.  I was lucky that Santander were one of the easiest and helpful people I dealt with, so I may have been lucky and you unlucky. I’m sorry about that.

    i too wouldn’t cause my / yourself any further grief and chase compensation, but I would report the incident to the ICO.  It is a very serious breach.  


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  • Philly_QPhilly_Q Frets: 8321
    Sorry to hear about your loss.  My dad and my stepmother have both died in the last few years and I've spent many hours sorting out their estates (still working on it).

    Santander have made a right mess of your situation and I hope there's a satisfactory settlement.  One thing I would say, I don't think they're right that you need to get probate before you can access the accounts (the two which really were your dad's, I mean).  If they were in joint names they should be put in your mum's name without having to wait for probate, so long as they've seen the death certificate.  I'm absolutely sure that was the case when my stepmother died.
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  • GandalphGandalph Frets: 8
    Thank you everyone for the input.
     No we don’t need to go through probate as the money they were saying was my dad’s wasn’t. 
    I will write then a very brief letter to explain that I will be reporting the breach to the fso. 

    I don’t want this to happen to somebody else. They have not helped their cause one bit by sending me 2 letters, both saying sorry about the death of our customer. Yep their customer, no name assigned to the letter, just ‘their customer’. Come on, it’s not good enough. They’ve also demanded more id than I’ve ever been asked for before, again based on their mistake of confusing my dad with someone else. Not one business reply envelope or for that matter any envelope of any description was ever included In their ‘package’. Other companies wanting things sent in the post sent us out prepaid envelopes. 

    As an aside and to give some perspective my dads car insurance company refunded his full policy, already  3 months in, they did not charge an admin fee and only needed a photocopied death certificate. In fairness most companies I’ve dealt with have been pretty good but Santander have been shocking! 

    I’m sorry to hear the other stories of others who have lost the one’s they love. It is an extremely difficult thing to go through.
    Best wishes.
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  • GandalphGandalph Frets: 8
    Here’s an idea winny Pooh - in future you should actually read what the op has written before posting your comments and opinions. Otherwise you have a tendency to come across as insensitive and just a bit ignorant. Well done 
    "If you cannot put a price on grief" then move without asking for more compensation. Unless a mistake cost you actual money and not just time, I generally have a problem  with "compensation culture". Companies are filled with humans and they make mistakes just like us. Sorry about your dad, they should have advised you first that in addition the death cert that they need probate or a will to release actual funds.

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