The Endowment Diary

The Endowment Diary

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The Endowment Mis-selling Debacle - one of the UK's worst financial scandals

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Missed The Boat

It seems that about 700000 people, out of the total of 8.5M who hold endowment policies, may have missed the deadline to lodge a complaint for mis-selling.

These figures come from the Treasury, so they are probably reasonably accurate.

The chairman of the Select Committee, John MacFall, is reported to have described the fact that so many people didn't know of the time bar as "inexcusable".

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is understood to be trying to persuade companies operating a time bar to reconsider their approach. Some of the endowment companies have agreed to waive the time bar.

The committee has also raised the issue of people sold endowment mortgages before 1988. As we all know, the ombudsman cannot consider these complaints because there was no voluntary code or scheme covering their activities before 1988.

The Select Committee is worried that this lack of action wrt pre 1988 policies will harm the reputation of the financial services industry.

I would suggest that the 8 million people facing shortfalls on their endowment policies already think that the financial services industry is pretty poor, whether the FSA deals with the complaints or not.

It seems that there are no stats available on the number of people turned away by the Ombudsman for trying to complain about pre 1988 endowments. The estimate is 1.2M, that's a lot of unhappy people!

Let's give them some stats!

Write to the Select Committee, if you were turned away because your policy was sold pre 1988.

There is a small crumb of comfort, the FSA and government are exploring options for voluntary help for people with pre 1988 policies.

However, don't hold your breath folks, that is a "cop out" in my view.

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