Protecting yourself from fraud and scams 


There have been no changes to your Santander sort codes or account numbers as a result of our ring-fencing plans.

Other UK banks that are subject to ring-fencing may however have made changes, so this may result in requests to change payment details.

While there will be genuine requests, fraudsters may pretend to be your bank and tell you your sort code or account details are changing. They can do this with fake emails, phone calls and text messages asking you to click a link, allow remote access or ring a number, all of which could connect you to a fraudster.

Please remember:

  • never share a Santander One Time Passcode (OTP) with another person, not even a Santander employee;
  • never download software onto your device either during or following an unexpected call;
  • never reply to emails asking for personal or security information; and
  • never make payments where an unknown person has requested you to do so. Your bank will never ask you to move funds from your account for safety or fraud reasons.

Fraudsters may also pretend to be someone you make payments to (such as a utility company, solicitor, family member or builder), and ask you to send new or future payments to a different account.

To protect yourself, always confirm any requests to make a new payment or change bank account details directly with the person or company making the change. You should avoid replying to the email or using the contact details from any message you receive and check the request a different way. If you have any doubts at all about what you are being asked to do, check with your bank. Always use contact details you can trust, for example the phone number on your bank statement, rather than any other details you may have been sent.

If you ever have any concerns, please don’t be rushed or pressurised into making a decision or acting quickly, don't give any information or proceed any further, and instead call us immediately on 0800 9 123 123.

As a business customer you should also consider:

  • setting up a single point of contact for companies you make regular payments to;
  • reviewing changes of account details that have already gone through where the payment is due at a future date and confirming that the request is genuine;
  • extra checks for payments over a certain amount; and
  • reviewing your payment approval processes – you may be able to use dual authorisation for an extra layer of security so all payments go through at least two people.


Is ring-fencing a legal requirement?

Ring-fencing is 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.

Have all banks subject to ring-fencing had 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 have adopted different approaches depending on their structures, strategy and customer base. This means customers of different banks may be affected in different ways.

Which regulators have ensured 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 are 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 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 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 have been released and those cross-guarantees unwound.
  • Certain other changes have been made to the terms and conditions of some contracts.