Santander Group: Debit Cards

Treasury written question – answered on 25th February 2021.

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Photo of Daisy Cooper Daisy Cooper Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Education)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to letters received by Santander customers advising that their debit cards will not be renewed due to not being used at a cash machine or physical point of sale, if he will will make representations to high street banks on the irresponsibility of requiring sometimes vulnerable customers to use their cards in that way during a national lockdown.

Photo of John Glen John Glen Minister of State (Treasury) (City), The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

There is an increased risk of fraud when banking customers use their debit cards infrequently, as some people may not notice if it has been lost or stolen. Therefore, banking providers often have processes to check whether customers still need a debit card if it hasn’t been used after a certain amount of time or ahead of the card renewal date. These processes are in line with the requirements of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) that banks should maintain effective systems and controls to prevent the risk that they might be used to further financial crime. This includes controls to prevent fraud.

Sometimes banks will require customers to complete a certain transaction to activate a new card. If customers are unable to do this (e.g. if they are vulnerable or shielding) then they are encouraged to speak to their provider who can help find an alternative solution.

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