Protection on the Piste: Start by Packing Your Abbey International Visa Infinite Card

By Abbey International, PRNE
Thursday, December 16, 2010

High Incidence and Cost of Skiing Accidents Often Ignored

ST HELIER, Jersey, December 17, 2010 - The thrill of the piste, the exhilaration of a fast run, the chill of the
snow and the warmth of the apres-ski gluwine - all these contribute to making
the holiday ski slopes one of the most sought after places to be,
particularly at this time of the year. But as you hurtle down a snow-capped
mountain or tentatively try your new skill on skis for the first time,
remember that skiing is not without its dangers. It's easier than you think
to go from ski lift today to hospital bed tomorrow!

In reality skiing accidents happen all too frequently and injuries,
ranging from serious breaks to minor scrapes, are common. According to the
Association of Mountain Doctors in France (Medecins de Montagne Resultats
Nationaux), there were 140,000 injuries in the 2008/2009 season in France
alone. Their findings show the importance of preparation, alertness, and of
course the importance of a good winter sports insurance, as the cost of
mountain rescue and medical assistance are both payable in France, as is the
case in virtually all of the major skiing centres. As an expatriate planning
a well earned break on the ski slopes, it pays to check if you have good
quality private medical policy with you at all times.

For Visa Infinite cardholders with Abbey International (, the Jersey based subsidiary which is
part of the global division of Santander Private Banking, comprehensive
medical coverage abroad is one thing you will not have to worry about.
Holders of the card enjoy a range of free benefits, of which global private
medical cover is one. The Visa Infinite travel assistance programme
( has been designed to
protect cardholders from a range of eventualities, from the mundane to the
more serious, including all forms of skiing accidents. If a hospital stay is
required, the cardholder's treatment is monitored, as is their recovery and
the quality of their medical attention until their safe return home. This
peace of mind support extends to providing updates to friends, family and
employers or business colleagues.

The Visa Infinite travel programme is provided by the insurers AXA, with
advice provided by AXA Assistance's Medical Director or the AXA Medical team
and is it based on their medical expertise or that of their support staff of
qualified physicians and nurses. AXA has a global database of every type of
healthcare professional it can call on behalf of Visa Infinite cardholders,
all of whom are well regarded in their field of expertise. The cardholder
will be given contact details of the appropriate professional together with
key information such as languages spoken, for example.

Although safety standards on the piste are generally very high, most
experts believe that ski accidents are more likely to happen at the end of
the day, when the weather is colder, skies are darker and skiers more tired.
Add to this the fact that most skiers do not wear head protection and the
risks are very real.

Typical costs, if you are unfortunate enough to be caught in an accident,
can be sobering too. A simple fracture can cost upwards of GBP3,000 after
X-rays and accident and emergency care is taken into account, whilst a
serious breakage, such as a leg or collarbone could easily result in a
hospital stay running into weeks, and at a daily cost of some GBP300 for
accommodation and nursing alone. Fees therefore can and do rise quickly
following even the most innocent of accidents. Other expenses to consider
could include a close family member having to fly back to accompany you home
and physiotherapy which can easily set you back GBP500 per week.

Medical benefits need not just cover hospitalisation and physical injury.
The service can also assist with GP visits, emergency dentistry and it can
help cardholders replace lost or misplaced medication or eyewear, for
example, by first endeavouring to find a local resource for replacement or,
if necessary, by arranging a fresh shipment to your location.

Few people realise what a little careful research into offshore banking
providers and the services they offer can yield. Simply by agreeing to hold
an agreed minimum balance, clients could be eligible for a range of lifestyle
benefits, including free insurance, all of which have been designed to make
the life of the globally mobile individual and his family flow more easily.

For the discerning ski enthusiast, then, packing your Abbey International
Visa Infinite card is a must, if you want your skiing holiday to run smoothly
this winter. The Abbey International Visa Infinite card is available to
clients with at least GBP100,000 on deposit, but if there is over GBP250,000
in the account, all card membership fees are waived.

Jane Matthews, Head of Client Experience at Abbey International said:
"Skiing can be tremendously exciting and reinvigorating, but like any
dangerous sport, it has its risks too. Our Visa Infinite cardholder can
relax, safe in the knowledge that they can get the best from their
trip and that Visa Infinite card with its lifestyle service and
comprehensive range of benefits is second to none in its attention to detail
and coverage. We are confident these services will help make our clients'
trips to the slopes easier, more fun and more relaxing."

For further information on banking with Abbey International in
Jersey call +44(0)1534-828-828 or log onto

For media use only and not to be relied on by consumers to make financial

Notes to Editors:

Abbey International is located in Jersey, a secure,
well-established and politically stable financial centre, which is renowned
internationally for its high standards of regulation. Jersey's unique
constitution and relationship with the British Crown dates back hundreds of
years. This provides for a unique legal and neutral tax system that can
provide significant wealth planning opportunities for the international

Abbey international has a minimum balance entry requirement of
GBP50,000 (or currency equivalent) across our portfolio of products. The
minimum balance amount can be spread across a range of accounts, subject to
the minimum opening deposit for each account being met.

All deposits carry the full and unconditional guarantee of Santander UK
plc, itself a wholly owned subsidiary of the Santander Group.

Santander has more than 150 years' experience in banking and more
branches worldwide than any other international bank.

About Banco Santander

Banco Santander (SAN.MC, STD.N, BNC.LN) is a retail and
commercial bank, based in Spain, with presence in 10 main markets. At the end
of 2008, Santander was the largest bank in the euro zone by market
capitalization and third in the world by profit. Founded in 1857, Santander
had EUR 1,271 billion in managed funds at the end of 2008. Following the
acquisition of Sovereign Bancorp. of the U.S. in January 2009, Santander had
90 million customers, around 14,000 branches - more than any other
international bank - and over 170,000 employees. It is the largest financial
group in Spain and Latin America, with leading positions in the United
and Portugal and a broad presence in Europe through its Santander
Consumer Finance arm. In the first half of 2009, Santander registered
EUR4,519 million in net attributable profit.

In the UK, Santander operates two retail businesses -
Santander, which was formed out of the Abbey and Bradford & Bingley retail
network, and Alliance & Leicester. Together they have over 1300 branches,
around 4,500 cash machines and they provide a full range of retail and
corporate banking services to 25 million customers.

Alliance & Leicester will become known as Santander by the end of 2010.

    Media Contacts:

    Guy Stephenson/Jennifer Duffy
    Nacelle Ltd

    Jane Matthews, Abbey International, Head of Client Experience

Media Contacts: Guy Stephenson/Jennifer Duffy, Nacelle Ltd, +44(0)20-8333-9125, gstephenson at; Jane Matthews, Abbey International, Head of Client Experience, +44(0)1534-828137, Jane.matthews at

will not be displayed