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Paul's complaint against Santander

Paul North


My mother was mis-sold a totally inappropriate reward account and told she had to move to it.

Complaint against Santander

My pensioner mother was told at her local branch that she had to move her money from the account she had to a new "reward" account and that she would have to start paying £10 a month to have a bank account. She was given no option about this, simply being told she had no choice about it and she did not understand that she did not have to do it. The account included "rewards" which she never expressed any interest in (travel insurance, when she does not travel and has health conditions which would disqualify her and healthcare which her age and health conditions disqualified her from), had no use for and which due to her age and health conditions she was ineligible for anyway. The account paid virtually no interest from year 1 onwards, even in the first year she only received interest on roughly 1/7 of her balance, there being no interest paid on amounts above £2,500. By the time I became aware of this, 8 years later, she had paid well over £1,000 in fees and had lost out on over £4,000 in interest in comparison to the rate of interest she would have received from the account I helped her move her money to, which was the 123 current account. This account and similar accounts were available during this period, during which she received virtually no interest.When I raised a complaint with them they promised a response but, 2 1/2 years later they had not given one. Constantly making excuses and repeatedly making my mother who is unable to deal with such things give permission for me to deal with it, again and again, despite this having been noted following calls, being noted on the complaint and them having written confirmation of it. They wanted my mother to deal with it as they knew they could push her around, that she would not be able to deal with it herself and that just as they had when mis-selling the account to her they could take advantage of her age and lack of understanding of such matters. Eventually getting no response, no returned calls, having them hang up on me repeatedly and rudeness and a lack of professionalism which frankly stunned me. I took the matter to the Financial Ombudsman's service and even when they told Santander to liaise with me, they refused to do so, despite repeated calls from the FSO telling them to do so. As a further bullying tactic, they closed my own account with them due to me raising this complaint and insisting it was dealt with. I have little faith in the FSO now the matter is with them, what with Santander having issued a final decision, which explains nothing and has precisely no substance whatsoever. Frankly if the FSO actually did their jobs properly and ruled on cases on their merits, banks, etc would not act like this, as they know there would be consequences for their actions and they would be made to pay back their ill-gotten gains and be held accountable for their actions both with regards to the mis-selling/fraud and the way they dealt with customers and their complaints. I should add that at this time the personal details I have given you are not my real email address and identity and this is due to my mother being embarrassed about being duped, something I am sure the bank knows about with regards to her and many of the other older people they take advantage of, which allows them to get away with it. Depending on how you would proceed with this case and what you would do with her personal details (and my own) this information would be shared with you. I believe this is a very serious case (there are other details, I would share with you, if you took on this case) and is a clear-cut case of mis-selling, fraud and bullying of an old woman and should be given the full glare of publicity including in Kelvin's newspaper column, but I and my mother would want our personal details kept private, with just the facts of the case being reported.

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