Over 5 years ago my mother suffered a brain injury which rendered her unable to manage her own affairs. As you can imagine this was a very traumatic and heartbreaking time for us.
As there was no Power of Attorney in place (we were due to put this in place and had discussed it with my mother), I was appointed as a Deputy by the Court of Protection to look after my mother's financial affairs. All very stressful and could have been avoided.
My mother has a number of accounts with several different banks and building societies. Whilst it was an onerous task, most banks were helpful and sympathetic although admittedly many were ignorant of my role and what it was supposed to empower me to do.
Santander have consistently been a nightmare to deal with, the type of issues I have faced:
1. Having to go into branch(es) to undertake simple tasks.
2. Having to be treated like a fraudster every time I try to undertake a simple task.
3. Having to explain what a Deputy is, only for the staff to look at me as if I am trying to defraud them and being humiliated and having requests refused.
4. Having internet banking disabled surreptitiously by a branch manager who thought I was a fraudster because they did not understand my role.
5. Spending hours on the telephone to undertake simple tasks (changing standing orders etc) because no one could authorise the actions I wanted to undertake (and am legally permitted to undertake).
6. Having online transactions blocked and cards disabled regularly.
7. Receiving letters addressed to my mother each time we tried to do an online transaction for her - asking if the transactions were legitimate.
8. Having to constantly re-explain my role and why it was not appropriate for them to keep trying to contact my mother etc etc... just so we could change her care home fee contribution!
This is just a small sample of what has been a longstanding nightmare. It got to the stage that we avoided dealing with Santander because it was too time consuming and stressful. Ultimately I ended up paying for things myself as I was constantly worried that they would again stop a card or disable access or cause other issues.
After the most recent problems, I again made a complaint and it appears now that they have resolved some of the problems (I now have internet banking back after 3 years without it, I now have a cheque book, I also have a debit card that works at the moment). The misinformation continues (the cheque book was supposed to be in my name as Deputy for, but came in my mother's name. I have been told to sign cheques in a few different styles. I am yet to test a cheque).
I have received an apology letter from Santander and have been offered a small financial gesture from Santander for the 5 years of grief.
I don't know whether to accept the gesture or, pass the complaint to the ombudsman.
Has anyone else had issues of this nature? I'd appreciate any opinions on this.