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Santander UK may pull down financial advice unit amid FSA probe

Santander UK has launched a review of its bancassurance division, after failing to educate investment adviser in order to comply with the new retail distribution review rules.

It is expected that the evaluation may lead to winding down the advisory unit, resulting in eliminating approximately 800 jobs.

A bank spokesperson said, "There is never a good time to announce changes such as this and we are acutely aware of the uncertainty staff are facing."

"We are working closely with other business areas to ensure that many of those who may be impacted are able to secure roles in a growing Santander Group", the spokesperson added.

This move comes at a time, when the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA) has published its mystery shopping report and is believed that the agency has referred certain enforcement divisions over poor investment advice and practices.

Without naming any financial organization, the FSA report highlights that the advice was inappropriate in 11% of cases, while in 15% cases the advisers had not obtained adequate information for proper recommendation.

FSA supervision director Clive Adamson said, "This review shows that customers are not consistently getting the quality of advice on their investments that they should expect when visiting an adviser in a bank or building society."