Personal customers in the UK

FAQs

What ring-fencing means for you

Santander UK plc is our main ring-fenced bank, serving all our Santander personal customers in the UK including customers of cahoot.

If you’re a personal customer with Santander or cahoot in the UK, there is no change to the way you bank with us as a result of ring-fencing and, in particular, there is no change to your sort code, account number, products or services.

Protecting yourself from fraud and scams

Although we haven’t changed your sort code or account number as a result of ring-fencing, the sort code or account number of any account you have with any of the other UK banks subject to ring-fencing may change, or may have already changed, as those banks restructure their business to comply with the ring-fencing legislation. This is because each bank affected by ring-fencing is taking a different approach.

You should be aware that this may also mean the payment details of some people or organisations you pay on a regular basis may change. To make the change process smoother, any Direct Debits, standing orders or bill payments will automatically be redirected for you. All banks and building societies will support their customers in this way.

You should however remain vigilant for any fraudulent activity. While there will be genuine requests to change payment details, fraudsters may use this as an opportunity to trick you into sharing your account details or changing payment information so they can access your money. Find out more on protecting yourself from fraud and scams here.

FAQs

Is ring-fencing a legal requirement?

Ring-fencing will be a legal requirement for certain UK banks with effect from 1 January 2019. Any banking group that has more than £25 billion of UK deposits from individuals or small businesses will be affected by ring-fencing. In general, within these groups any UK bank that holds deposits from personal or small business customers will be a ring-fenced bank.

Will all banks subject to ring-fencing have to adopt the same approach?

No. There are different ways for banks to meet the requirements of ring-fencing legislation, so banks subject to ring-fencing are adopting different approaches depending on their structures, strategy and customer base. This means customers of different banks may be affected in different ways.

Which regulators will ensure Santander UK will comply with ring-fencing requirements?

Our plans for ring-fencing have been reviewed by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The PRA is the lead regulator responsible for identifying which banks are within the scope of the ring-fencing legislation and for supervising banks’ implementation of the prudential rules. The FCA is working with the PRA, the Bank of England, HM Treasury and the banks that will be subject to ring-fencing from the commencement of the regime to support the banks’ implementation of ring-fencing efficiently and on time.

Santander is a Spanish bank, so why does it need to adhere to UK banking laws?

Banco Santander, S.A. is a global banking group and each of its subsidiaries, including Santander UK, operates as an independently capitalised stand-alone business. Santander UK plc, Cater Allen Limited and Abbey National Treasury Services plc are each incorporated in the UK, are subject to UK legislation and are authorised by the UK Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the PRA. Banco Santander, S.A. is authorised and supervised by the European Central Bank and by the Bank of Spain, and its London branch is also subject to limited regulation in the United Kingdom by the FCA and the PRA.

What is a ring-fencing transfer scheme?

A ring-fencing transfer scheme is a legal process that facilitates transfers of business to create a ring-fenced bank.

Part VII of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, provides for a process leading to a court order to facilitate transfers of insurance or banking business. The Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act 2013 added a process for transfers of business in connection with the creation of a ring-fenced bank known as a ring-fencing transfer scheme.

The purpose of a ring-fencing transfer scheme is to enable banks to restructure their businesses in order to comply with the ring-fencing requirements that will apply from 1 January 2019.

What was the purpose of Santander’s ring-fencing transfer scheme?

The purpose of our ring-fencing transfer scheme was to enable us to restructure certain parts of our business to comply with the ring-fencing requirements that will apply from 1 January 2019.

Under the Scheme:

  • Certain corporate and wholesale markets business have been transferred between Santander UK plc, Abbey National Treasury Services plc and Banco Santander, S.A. London branch.
  • With effect from 1 January 2019, all liabilities of Santander UK plc and Abbey National Treasury Services plc under the existing cross-guarantees issued by each of them in respect of the liabilities of the other will be released and those cross-guarantees unwound.
  • Certain other changes have been made to the terms and conditions of some contracts.