Madeiran swimmer “confused”. Bad weather. Santander Totta.

Reports corrected

Susan Brown, 65, from Dorset, was rescued in seas off Madeira after her cruise liner set sailThe Telegraph on Tuesday corrected some rather sensational reports carried in a lot of the UK press of a woman trying to swim out to re-join her husband on a cruise that had already departed from Funchal by jumping in a taxi to Santa Cruz and then attempting to swim out as the Marco Polo passed.
Apparently Susan Brown, 65, was pictured at an Easter mass with a candle at Sao Pedro Church, normally only attended by locals, where one witness said she actively celebrated Holy Eucharist which started at 8pm and didn’t leave the church till 9.45pm. Funchal port captain Felix Marques, the local maritime police commander, has admitted there were still many question marks hanging over the drama involving Mrs Brown. He said: “I am aware of the reports about her attending a church mass and it knocks down the version of events she told my officers on Saturday about wanting to swim to the ship because she thought her husband had changed his mind about flying back to Britain and had taken a taxi back to the vessel.“To be honest it makes no sense and it could be related to the fact she was very confused at the time.“The Marco Polo crossed the area where she threw herself into the sea at 8.30pm which coincided with the moment she’s said to have been in church.“The ship would have been out of sight by the time the service finished, and much more so at 10pm when she was seen on the promenade in front of the sea. Full story here.

Bad weather

The bad weather accurately forecast in updates to the previous post duly arrived yesterday and resulted in the closure of the airport. It really has been eye-opening how accurate the BBC weather app is for Funchal! TAP have scheduled additional flights today between Lisbon and Madeira to accommodate their customers who were affected. The winds caused falling trees, scaffolding, roof tiles and zinc sheets, with some damage in central Funchal. Fireman were called to a number of locations, including outside the Farmers Market where one of the trees fell on a parked car. One 32-year old man was taken to hospital, and access to the areas around the port restricted.

Best Bank in Portugal

The US magazine Global Finance has selected Santander Totta as the “Best Bank in Portugal” in the “World’s Best Banks in Developed Markets” category. This bank now incorporates the recently failed Banif bank (their old head office in Funchal is pictured), although for some strange reason Banif customers cannot yet use Santander branches for deposits and withdrawals – I guess the computer systems will be on different platforms? Meanwhile the former president of Banif, testifying to an committee of inquiry into the crash, explained that there had been “abnormal movements involving substantial sums of money in Madeira” in the weeks immediately prior to closure.

5 thoughts on “Madeiran swimmer “confused”. Bad weather. Santander Totta.”

  1. It seems to me that your final two paragraphs on Banif/Santander could well be connected. It’s natural for Santander not to want Banif customers to access their accounts while there are still some questions to be asked about those “abnormal movements” – i.e. the source of the money they are now wanting to withdraw.

  2. No sure where the information about Santander/Banif came from.
    We are able to use ATM, transfer money from our account at the branch and to pay bills online using the Banif/Santander website.
    Our contact at the bank said they are trying to find a way to migrate all the Banff accounts to the Santander system which might take a while.
    I understand most of the Banff problems stem from poor investments in property, more of a corporate problem which should not affect ordinary bank customers.

  3. The information re Banif is from a personal perspective Wendy – we have an long established Santander Totta branch next to our office but still have to go to our old Banif (now Santander) branch a few minutes drive away to make any counter transactions. ATMs and on-line facilities work fine.

  4. Seems that just dressing the bank with anew Santander sign doesn’t really change the day to day operations. A Banff branch with a Santander sign is still operating on the old Banff system. Very confusing. Can only hope that when they truly amalgamate some of the old guard at Banff get retired out and the younger, enthusiastic, multi lingual tech savvy get a chance to progress.


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