Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Santander moves to axe 'packaged' accounts

Santander is to shift thousands of customers off its paid-for current accounts as it moves to scrap its "packaged" deals entirely.

Packaged accounts, which bundle up a range of benefits such as vouchers and insurance in return for a monthly fee, have generally come in for industry controversy in recent months.

This is because concerns have been raised that many people were sold added perks which turned out to be useless.

Santander, which has not sold packaged accounts for more than a year, emphasised that those affected will continue to have a current account.

They will have add-on perks such as mobile phone insurance and breakdown cover removed when they automatically move to its non fee-paying Everyday account in October –which offers a four-month fee-free overdraft.

It said the moves are unrelated to the recent controversy and are about simplifying its range as it works to improve customer service.

The changes will ultimately see the number of adult current accounts on Santander's books drop from 14 to just two.

Santander is writing to customers of its accounts which charge between £10 and £20 a month to say that its packaged deals will be completely done away with from October 19.

The bank has not put a figure on how many customers are affected, but the numbers are thought to be in the low hundred thousands.