Santander savers' cash may not be safeMoney in a structured product not fully protected

03 April 2011

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Be sure your savings are secure: make sure you understand the FSCS rules

A Santander structured product that is not fully protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme has caused confusion for customers, as they could lose some or all of their savings if the bank collapsed.

Funds saved in the Guaranteed Capital Plus 14 Account are allocated to different parts of the business, which may not be fully ring-fenced. If these areas of Santander went bust, customers would not be able to make use of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) and could lose their money.

Savings not fully protected

One customer, Pat Symms, told Which? that she moved her savings from the Post Office to Santander's structured product to ensure all her money would be FSCS protected. At the time the Post Office was not protected as it was backed by the Bank of Ireland. The Bank of Ireland has since attained FSCS protection, meaning that Post Office accounts are covered. Pat expressly asked Santander about FSCS protection and was reassured that her savings would be fully covered

A Santander spokesman said: 'We did not wrongly tell our customers they were fully covered. We told people they may be covered and asked them to go to the FSCS for further details.'

For further information and advice on structured products and how to protect your savings, read the online Which? advice guides.

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