back to article Santander mixes up 35,000 bank statements

The High Street bank Santander has blamed printers for a blunder that saw it send 35,000 bank statements to the wrong addresses. It has written to customers to warn them, but played down potential security problems. "Due to a technical error at our printers, a number of current account statements dated December 18 have …


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  1. Neill Mitchell

    Mr Jones of Oxford

    You are £300 overdrawn. Just thought you'd like to know :)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Don't remind me of politicians

    "We want to reassure customers that the risk of fraud on their account has not been increased because of this error"

    Uh, no. It has.

    1. Just Thinking


      I am sure they genuinely *want* to reassure you that it hasn't.

  3. Studley

    also, Mr Jones:

    You're with a complete shambles of a bank.

    I left them after they reissued my card and PIN to an old address that I lived at several years ago, despite me deliberately confirming my correct address with them when I phoned, knowing how incompetent they are.

  4. TiredAndShaggedOut

    Together, we are a monumental balls up

    This is nothing. Try signing up for a Santander business account then you'll find just how bad they are.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Me? Mr Jones?

    Well, I hope any one incurring <hrrmph-hrrmph> extra Santander bank costs might reasonably claim : "The statement you sent me says I have over 2k GBP in my account. How on earth could I be overdrawn? I only spent 1500 GBP. Oh! I see! The statement does not have my name on it. How could that happen?"

    Merry Christmas Mr Jones!


  6. Anonymous Coward

    Spanish Practices..... Now coming to a Bank near you :p

    c/o the Post office...

    now where was my jacket with all the 500€ notes in it???

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hang on...

    "...risk of fraud on their account has not been increased because of this error and that this is a one-off incident."

    How can putting someone's private information in the hands of complete strangers not pose a potential risk of fraud?

    1. John G Imrie

      Re: Hang on

      We don't actually know what data was wrong. So the name, address and account numbers could all have been right, just the balance and the itemised details wrong.

      However on the bright side any one who's Mrs wants to know why there is a Direct Debit for the local Spearmint Rhino club can now claim its a mistake by the bank :-)

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    any incidents of this nature is treated with the highest priority.

    What, after the incident has already happened?

    Horses, Stable doors. Bolts.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Not my favourite bank. G/f is still with them, with no easy way out. When moving house recently, they were the only ones who insisted on coming into a branch (20 miles away) in order to change the account details to reflect the new address. Wouldn't accept a letter, fax or phone call, unlike every other institution. Would also put a block on existing address until we could get into the branch, a month later - so who knows what they sent to the old address? Wish I'd gotten her to ask them what their policy would have been if she were house-bound..

    1. lumpenfolk

      You should try living abroad

      In my experience this is normal, both in the UK and elsewhere in Europe.

  10. TonyHoyle


    I had one of those accounts for just 2 months. In that time the managed to completely screw up the transfer of direct debits and standing orders, leading to unpaid bills, refused to give me a date for the account switchover (the best they could do was 'in a couple of weeks').

    To top it all, they couldn't work out how to give me access to their online banking and every time they failed - again - to give me access, for some insane reason it took them 2 *weeks* to do a password reset.

    I finally left them in disgust and my new bank gave me good service from day one, and managed to reverse the damage that santander had done to my direct debits (but not the damage to my credit rating).

    This news doesn't surprise me.. they're a complete shower. How they keep trading is beyond me.

  11. nagyeger


    Fraud: Tick

    blackmail: Plausible

    heart-attacks: Tick

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    risk of fraud

    Isn't what would worry me, if they can print someone else's transactions on your statement accidentally, they can also apply someone else's transactions to your account.

    After all, it should all be from the same source.

  13. ivan itchybutt

    Where's the hilarious headline?

    A bank called 'Santander' f's up a few days before Christmas, and that's all you can come up with???

  14. Rogerborg
    Thumb Down

    They really are fucknozzles

    Call up any bank in their group, beep boop, press 2 if you don't know your credit card number, boop, enter your date of birth, beep. Based on your CLI and date of birth, your credit card balance - for any card issued by any bank in our group, even if you naively think you've called a different bank - is...

    Yes, for realsies.

  15. Grivas Bo Diddly Harm

    What a surprise...

    I used to be with Abbey National in the late 90s. Santander undoubtedly acquired it because they were culturally similar, i.e. as incompetent as each other. I left Abbey National in 1997 and used RBS as my main bank quite happily until this year.

    Granted, RBS has had its problems <ahem>, but its branch network - what I would in my old fashioned way call 'proper' banking - has always been well run as far as I have been concerned. So imagine my joy and delight when I received a letter this year to say that the RBS branch network in England was being handed over to Santander.

    Well bugger that, I'm off-ski. I've opened an account with the Co-op and am transferring. Not that anyone will notice or care, but at least I'll feel better for not having my money in the hands of this bunch of idiots.

  16. kain preacher

    @P Henry

    "How can putting someone's private information in the hands of complete strangers not pose a potential risk of fraud?"

    Simple. The banks is not going to pay if you get screwed over . So no risk to the bank of fraud. Oh you mean how is there no risk to the people . Simple people don't count.

  17. Caff

    printers. doubt it

    They blame the printers, but it sounds more like a coding error. 35,000 statements.. if it was a printer mixup it would have been caught before it was sent out. I'm guessing that someone made a change to the template for the statements and when they were sent to print the duplexing went out of synch resulting in the wrong adress sheet being added to each statement.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Quite possibly the printers

      Much as it pains me to defend Santander, most banks have a technical change freeze implemented from mid November until early January, so it's unlikely to be them as this was done in December.

      In Santander's case, it's outsourced all it's print, so more realistically is that one of the operators loaded the wrong file or one of the printer's developers made a change to the code when they were producing the statements which caused the fuckup.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        What a suprise...

        The bank outsources its printing operation to the lowest price bidder and the lowest price bidder f**ks up, what a surprise.

        I was recently made redundant from the IT department of a "major high street bank", or as the bank likes to put it, had my work stack redeployed, part of the "redeployment" involved the low cost workers coming over from India so that they could lean the jobs that were done by the eight members of my team, all people with twenty plus years expierence. However the group of "expierienced people" (the bank's description) were delayed as the bank was waiting for them to graduate.....

        Are you surprised these sort of major screw-ups are occurring?

  18. Michael Dunn


    Extract from the Peter and Jane Ladybird Book of Business English:

    "We really take blah blah blah.... very seriously" means "We don't give a damn."

    Yes, I've got the Ladybird book of HPC in my pocket, too.

  19. Sam Therapy
    Thumb Down

    Anyone remember Abbey?

    They were fucking useless, too.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not the first time

    Santander have done this before, though possibly not on this scale. Someone I know received a letter _in her name_ containing details of a loan 'she' had taken out. When she took it into branch they confirmed it was genuine, but had been printed for the wrong account.

    How exactly do they manage it???

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Yet again another insitution lets us down

    Just how often are we going to let large institutions keep getting away with this?

    "Oops sorry, we lost your data/sent it to the wrong person/allowed our low-paid operatives to sell it to make up a living wage in whatever backwater we use for our call centre".

    Personally I believe it's time that the moment a company/insitution does this that they were hit with punitive fines.

    But at the very least they should be forced to provide every individual that _might_ be affected with an annual subscription to a credit-monitoring agency and be liable for any credit fraud regardless of whether it can be proven to be as a direct result of the failure or not.

    Santander are a disgusting, greedy, bank with the customer morals of rabid sewer rats - they apparently have over 200,000 complaints currently logged with the FSA which is more than any other UK bank by an order of some magnitude, so what does that tell you?

    I used to bank with them. I went overdrawn by 79pence. They hounded me for it by telephoning me three times within an hour and then wrote to me twice (after I'd made it right)...but then they stung me for over £200 of charges without as much as a letter, so I'm now one of those people with a complaint in at the FSA.

    1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

      £200 for a 79p overdraft!!!!

      Can I introduce to Mr Yorkshire Bank plc are Fascist Bastards?

  22. Anonymous Coward


    My business bank account make a transfer to me each month - my salary. It has my name on the transfer and on the same line you'll see the balance.

    I'm not Mr. Smith, I have a somewhat rare name. I'll be easy to trace. How on earth is that not a security risk.

    Indeed - if this is NOT a risk, I want the bank to publish the statement details (but obviously hiding the first page with name, address / account info etc) of ALL their directors. That'll convince me there is no risk.

  23. Glyn 2

    Me too

    Was with alliance and leicester for 15 years and never had a problem. Since the switch over they've screwed up my direct debits, sending me a new debit card, the online banking keeps breaking and they've changed how payments are validated and now my statements been sent to someone else.

    In the new year I'm off to the Co-op too

  24. iMess


    Doesn't really matter who you're with, you're going to get screwed eventually, its in the bank's nature. As long as someone other than youreself has access to your details 'accidents' will happen and there never a 100% guarantee of risk/fraud protection. If you think this, then you need to wake up.

    The article doesn't really tell you what has been mixed up and what data has been sent.

    I am suprised at how many of you are surprised at this! And they want bonuses?

  25. 0laf Silver badge

    It's the Spanish

    I always thought it was supposed to be the Italian you couldn't build/run anything. In truth it's the Spanish.

    Banks, airports whatever. Buy them on cheap credit, run them on a shoestring then don't really give a shit when it all goes to hell. Why would they when Spain is even more bankrupt than us.

    And yes I moved away from Abbey because they were piss poor too.

  26. Anonymous Coward

    Co-op bank?

    Try Smile

    It is part of the Co-op but sounds a lot nicer and has been rolling in the awards (might try it myself?)

    1. TonyJ Silver badge

      Smile are superb

      I've been with them for getting on 10 years.

      Yes, they've made the odd cock-up but have always done their best to put them right in good time and where necessary at their cost and unlike many have held up their hands and said sorry - human error.

      I can heartily recommend them.

      A Smile...well, it had to be didn't it?

  27. JaitcH

    Why are we not surprised after the mess at Heathrow?

    If these are the same clowns who own BAA, there should be little surprise if they can't even get their banking straight why should passengers expect any better at LHR?

    Totally incompetent at running a bank or an airport.

  28. John Fielder

    Printer Error?

    I can see how a printer can print rubbish, how it can smudge ink or screw up paper. How can it printer someone else's address (correctly) unless it was sent the wrong information?

    Maybe it waited until it had a load in it's memory buffer and then only mixed up the address bit of the printout, that sound likely.

  29. Anonymous Coward

    Clue hammer

    Should be applied to the muppet(s) responsible for this Christmas present to many an identity thief and fraudster.

    On second thoughts, repeatedly, one knuckle at a time until they beg for mercy.

    Shame they don't have hard labour as a punishment any more.

    AC, because unfortunately the Human Rights Act still applies even to incompetents.

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