Bloomberg News

Santander Fined $2.4 Million by FSA on Structured Products

February 20, 2012

(Updates with Santander comment in fifth paragraph.)

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Banco Santander SA was fined 1.5 million pounds ($2.4 million) by the U.K. for not explaining to its customers when structured products it sold weren’t covered by a government investment-protection program.

Santander should have changed its product literature and training material for structured products between October 2008 and January 2010, the Financial Services Authority said in an e- mailed statement in London today. The bank’s investors haven’t suffered losses because of the lapses, the regulator said.

“Considering that sales of these products took place between 2008 and 2009, a time of financial uncertainty, Santander should have moved more quickly to confirm under which circumstances” the coverage would be available, said Tracey McDermott, the acting head of enforcement at the FSA.

The Spanish bank sold around 2.7 billion pounds of structured products during that time period, including 1.2 billion pounds worth after June 2009, when it had determined that its products, Guaranteed Capital Plus and the Guaranteed Growth Plan, would have limited coverage under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

“Santander is disappointed with the outcome and has registered its opposition to the FSA’s findings,” the bank said in an e-mailed statement. “In order to conclude a lengthy investigation process, Santander has decided, in the circumstances, that we will not challenge further the decision, nor the fine.”

--With assistance from Charles Penty in Madrid. Editors: Christopher Scinta, Anthony Aarons

To contact the reporter on this story: Lindsay Fortado in London at lfortado@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Scinta at cscinta@bloomberg.net


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