Question: I see that Alliance & Leicester has become more integrated into the Santander network. I held £50,000 in savings in both Alliance & Leicester and Abbey, to ensure I maximised my protection under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
Does the closer integration mean that I have lost this protection?
Answer: Yes. Santander has moved aggressively into the banking market in Northern Ireland and Great Britain, buying the Abbey, Alliance & Leicester, and Bradford & Bingley brands. The Abbey and Bradford & Bingley brands were replaced as trading names earlier this year and are now known as Santander. The same process is now taking place with Alliance & Leicester, which will also be known as Santander. As part of this change, Alliance & Leicester will operate under the Santander banking licence. This means that where in the past customers of Abbey and Alliance & Leicester were subject to two separate protection limits of £50,000, from the end of this month they will be covered by a single limit of £50,000. If you want to benefit from the full Financial Services Compensation Scheme protection you should close one of your accounts and move it to an account with a competitor. Santander will not invoke financial penalties for those customers affected by this.