The U.K.'s Financial Conduct Authority fined Santander UK PLC £32.8 million for failing to appropriately disburse its deceased customers' money to their beneficiaries.
Between Jan. 1, 2013, and July 11, 2016, the bank failed to transfer funds totaling more than £183 million, affecting over 40,000 customers. The bank failed to organize and control its probate and bereavement process responsibly and effectively and failed to treat its customers fairly on their death, the FCA said.
After problems were identified, the bank failed between Nov. 26, 2013, and May 1, 2015, to advise the FCA of the nature and scale of the issues it faced.
Santander began remediation exercises in 2015 and has since almost completed locating beneficiaries and transferring the relevant funds to them, along with interest where appropriate. The lender did not contest the FCA's findings and qualified for a 30% discount on a fine that otherwise would have been £46.9 million.
Santander UK is ultimately owned by Banco Santander SA.