If you have at least £50,000 sitting around that you’re wanting to invest with, now’s your chance. Santander UK is opening in-branch investment advice with a team of 225 financial advisers.
The advisers can be found in about one out of every four of the bank’s largest branches throughout the UK, so it’s worth it simply to check to see if they’re offering the services at a Santander UK branch near you.
They’ll offer a range of investment and financial services, such as tax management and portfolio construction. However, they’re only allowed to recommend Santander-owned products, so you won’t be receiving an unbiased evaluation of your investment needs.
So how much will Santander’s investment cost the average UK investor? You’ll pay 2.5% of the amount invested, with a minimum fee of £500 and a maximum fee of £3,750. The fee doesn’t cover any fund management charges that you also might incur.
Many of the UK’s bigger banks like Santander discontinued their investment advice services after rules were introduced to specify and label the charges between product sales and advice. Santander wasn’t the only one to shut down their investment advice services in 2013, but it was one of the ones that closed after severe penalties were placed on them for giving unsuitable recommendations to their consumers.
Maybe because Santander was (and still are) exclusively offering their products to their clients rather than the full range of options that might be best for their individual investment needs. But plans to re-initiate the investment advice services have been in the works for some time.
Their first attempts at re-establishing investment advice services at Santander UK branches failed in September, but this time the bank has confirmed that they’re officially going through with the plan in 2016. In addition to the in-house investment advisers, Santander UK is scheduled to launch an online investment platform; a growing trend in private investors.
Through the online investment platform, Santander UK consumers will be able to access to over 2,000 investment funds that span across the market. No word yet if there’s a minimum investment amount, but the online service will be available to investors for an decreased price of 0.35% a year in addition to any of the fund management charges, as with the in-house investment advising services.
While Santander’s new investment advice services are appealing to new investors looking for an introduction, or even more seasoned investors looking to revitalize their portfolio, but it may be in danger of incurring more banking penalties as it did in 2013 if their investment advice is found to be similarly unsatisfactory by UK banking and investment advising regulators.
With 900 branches under the Santander name, many of which will now offer these new investment advice products, UK consumers can soon explore their investment options through Santander and find out for themselves if the products prove to be lucrative for them. It may be a welcome addition to many first-time investors.