Santander - onerous security checks

edited 23 December 2022 at 3:32PM in Savings & investments
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kinger101kinger101 Forumite
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edited 23 December 2022 at 3:32PM in Savings & investments
Just had my account blocked and then wasted 20 mins of the phone after trying to pay money into a savings which I've previously transferred money to and I know is my account.  Had to listen to long spiel about being coerced and answer a few questions saying this wasn't the case.  I also explained I'd made previous transactions from Santander to this account.  Was put on hold and multiple times, and in the end had to insist they unfroze my account (had to leave for an appointment).  Was told I'd need to phone back to complete the transaction.  While the manner of the person on the other end of the phone wasn't exactly rude, it wasn't exactly suited for a customer facing role either.

I'm all for banks protecting customers, but find this ridiculous.  If I have an online banking account, I don't expect to need to make long phone calls to effect a transfer for slightly more the £10K.  Or at the very least, for them to accept my statement that I'm transferring my money to another account I hold as the truth.

Does this level of security apply to all banks now, are or there others which will let rational adults transfer money to their own accounts without interrogation.

"Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance" - Confucius
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  • NoMoreNoMore Forumite
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    All the banks are subject to AML (anti money laundering) checks, but Santander in particular was just recently fined by the FCA for failures in this area, so they have probably overreacted to that and being extra cautious.
     
  • kinger101kinger101 Forumite
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    NoMore said:
    All the banks are subject to AML (anti money laundering) checks, but Santander in particular was just recently fined by the FCA for failures in this area, so they have probably overreacted to that and being extra cautious.
     
    If that was the case, shouldn't they have queried a much larger amount entering the account a few days earlier?
    "Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance" - Confucius
  • newatcnewatc Forumite
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    It must be frustrating when you know what you are doing and they subject you to this rigmarole. Then again I read some of the newspaper stories where someone has insisted on transfer despite warnings and the transfer turns out to be a scam but with newspaper pressure, the banks feel obliged to reimburse the victim. That must be frustrating too.

    That doesn't excuse poor customer service manner.
  • Bridlington1Bridlington1 Forumite
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    As for this level of security applying to all banks, the answer is yes. At the end of the day they need to do some security checks to prevent fraud/money laundering. If they don't they will likely face a fine from the FCA for failing to protect their customers. Moreover you would end up with tens if not hundreds of thousands of customers getting duped into sending money to fraudsters as well as money launderers having a field day if they didn't do any fraud checks.

    How often you will encounter checks often depends on how you use your account. If you rarely use your account and/or only make small deposits/withdrawals, then you suddenly transfer a 5 figure sum in/out of it (especially if from abroad), you will likely face fraud checks. If you regularly have 5 figure sums bouncing through it, another 5 figure sum will rarely (if ever) cause issues.

    I currently have a Lloyds account, which has 4/5 figure sums bouncing through quite regularly without checks as it is normal account activity for me. If on the other hand I tried bouncing a five figure sum through my rarely used Co-operative bank account, there would almost certainly be checks.

    If you can get these issues resolved with a single phone call then it isn't too bad in my opinion. I'd rather spend an hour on the phone to the bank to get a payment released than have them freezing the account without telling me. Though as a rule of thumb I would always have at least one spare current account with a different bank, with savings held elsewhere just to be on the safe side. This isn't just because of the risk of accounts getting frozen, but also if the bank has technical failings of some sort. Just ensures you always have access to money in case.
  • Band7Band7 Forumite
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    I have been a Santander customer for well over 10 years and am processing large sums of money through my 123 (now Lite) account as it is my hub/nominated account for numerous savings accounts. They did block one or two individual payments over the years, nothing I was getting annoyed about. But recently they are testing my patience as they now randomly just block the access to online and app banking, and it takes ages for them to answer the phone. When you finally get to speak to a person, you then get treated like a fraudster. I found it particularly offensive that they tell you you must not lie to them, and then ask you "did you lie to us?" I have absolutely no idea why they even think I would lie to them.

    Here's my most recent expereince: https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/comment/79716247. As of now, I am still waiting for their complaints team to get back to me. I think everyone who is unhappy with the way their fraud prevention works at this stage should be formally complaining.
  • Band7Band7 Forumite
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    As for this level of security applying to all banks, the answer is yes. At the end of the day they need to do some security checks to prevent fraud/money laundering. If they don't they will likely face a fine from the FCA for failing to protect their customers.  
    This is certainly a reason for their increased levels of fraud checking. But I think the main reason is that they want to reduce their risk of having to refund APP fraud, as they have a voluntary policy to refund customers who were duped. This voluntary policy is likely to become mandatory before long. I don't think any reasonable person would object to the principle of fraud prevention checks but banks need to conduct their checks somewhat more intelligently than some of them, Santander included, do them at present.

    Note you can contribute to the PSR consultation about APP fraud prevention. The consultation is open until 5pm on 14 January 2022. You can email your comments to [email protected] 
  • AmityNeonAmityNeon Forumite
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    Band7 said:
    I have been a Santander customer for well over 10 years and am processing large sums of money through my 123 (now Lite) account as it is my hub/nominated account for numerous savings accounts. They did block one or two individual payments over the years, nothing I was getting annoyed about. But recently they are testing my patience as they now randomly just block the access to online and app banking, and it takes ages for them to answer the phone. When you finally get to speak to a person, you then get treated like a fraudster. I found it particularly offensive that they tell you you must not lie to them, and then ask you "did you lie to us?" I have absolutely no idea why they even think I would lie to them.
    The bank is protecting itself. Fraudsters instruct victims to lie to the banks during fraud checks, and if hapless victims end up lying about lying, after their bank specifically told them not to lie in the first place and subsequently asked if they lied, they can't blame the bank for failing to protect them.
  • Band7Band7 Forumite
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    AmityNeon said:
    Band7 said:
    I have been a Santander customer for well over 10 years and am processing large sums of money through my 123 (now Lite) account as it is my hub/nominated account for numerous savings accounts. They did block one or two individual payments over the years, nothing I was getting annoyed about. But recently they are testing my patience as they now randomly just block the access to online and app banking, and it takes ages for them to answer the phone. When you finally get to speak to a person, you then get treated like a fraudster. I found it particularly offensive that they tell you you must not lie to them, and then ask you "did you lie to us?" I have absolutely no idea why they even think I would lie to them.
    The bank is protecting itself. Fraudsters instruct victims to lie to the banks during fraud checks, and if hapless victims end up lying about lying, after their bank specifically told them not to lie in the first place and subsequently asked if they lied, they can't blame the bank for failing to protect them.
    Yes I know but I expect the bank's procedures and personnel to be more intelligent in their fraud prevention. To automatically assume I am lying to them is taking things one step to far IMO.
  • happybaggerhappybagger Forumite
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    To be honest it's not just on the payments front Santander have become a PITA with.

    As my parents have got into the habit of using contactless, when my mother came to pay in a cafe it was an occasion she required a PIN to be entered. She'd forgotten it. The process to get a replacement PIN sent was very distressing for her.

    I went and asked at the branch, they didn't need to bring up any details, I simply passed on her account number and asked them to send that person a PIN. They point blank refused. She would have to come in. Despite the fact that she can only walk about 50 steps. My dad went in, a joint account holder (!) but no, "Then she'll have to phone them"

    She did. It failed due to her hearing. She tried again, with me writing down the answers so she could say them. The bloke at the other end implied that she was being forced into asking for her pin number and went off for 20 minutes. She got very stressed at all this.

    It has led me to go down the general power of attorney route. We'll see how they do with that.
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