The Endowment Diary

The Endowment Diary

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

Friday, November 26, 2004

Obstructive Unhelpful Delaying Tactics

You will recall that, on the 12th of November, I sent my life assurance company a letter asking about commission payments made from my two endowment policies.

Here is the letter that I sent:

"Dear Sir/Madam,

Endowment Policies (numbers **** and ****)

I have a number of queries concerning my two endowment policies (numbers **** and ***), which you manage on my behalf.

Please can you answer the following queries in respect of the above policies:

1. Please can you advise me as to how much commission has been paid to any third party, or connected party, at the time the policies were taken out?

2. Please can you advise me of the names of the companies to which commission payments have been made, in respect of these policies?

3. Please can you advise me if commission payments have been made, at dates other than at the commencement of the policies?

4. If so please can you quantify the amounts, the frequency and the organisations to which these additional commission payments have been/are being made?

5. Please can you advise me if the commission payments referred to in questions 1- 4 above were deducted directly from my policy payments, or have been charged indirectly?

6. If commission payments are still being made on my policies, please can you advise me as to why?

7. Do I have the right to stop these ongoing commission payments?

8. If I have the right to stop these ongoing commission payments, please can you explain as to why you have not drawn this to my attention before?

9. Please can you provide me with an estimate as to negative impact, on the final expected maturity value of my policies, which these payments have had?

Please feel free to contact me if you need clarification of the above.

Thank you in advance for your prompt co-operation.


Yours faithfully
..."

Today I received their response; which, not to put too fine a point on it, I regard as obstructive and unhelpful.

Here is their response:

"Thanks you for your letter of 11 November, asking how much commission is being paid monthly to the adviser.

The policy *** was sold by **, direct sales office, South London branch. If you have any queries concerning the sale of these policies please contact us at the above address (note they do not supply the address in the letter, they are the same company why not just pass my letter on?).

You took out plan (**) before 1 January 1995, when the current commission disclosure rules came into force. I cannot give you details of the commission paid to the selling agent without the agent's permission in writing. In order to obtain the commission information therefore, we suggest that you contact your adviser direct (it is my money, yet they will not tell me how much they are taking!).

...."

I will follow this up.

I do not consider that their response has been at all helpful; it leaves me to wonder precisely what they are hiding.


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