The Endowment Diary

The Endowment Diary


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

Monday, October 24, 2005

Ever Wondered?

Ever Wondered?

Those of you who are sitting on an unhealthy endowment shortfall, there are estimated to be around 8 million of you, may be wondering why more has not been done by the Financial services Authority (FSA) to bring those who manage these useless polices (ie the life assurance companies) to book.

Well the answer can be found in a speech made, a month ago in Washington, by Sir Howard Davies.

Sir Howard Davies is the director of the London School of Economics, and the former chairman of the FSA.

When he was head of the FSA, Davies decided against playing hard ball with the life assurance industry in respect of their mis-sold and mismanaged endowment mortgages.

In his speech he noted that a more aggressive approach "could perhaps be justified in consumer protection terms". However, it "could well have generated a systemic crisis", because "the amount of compensation politically payable would have threatened the viability of many insurance companies".

In other words he was afraid of the consequences of doing the right thing, because it would hurt the life assurance companies.

A cynic might argue that he was protecting the powerful life assurance lobby, because he was more afraid of them than he was of the hapless consumers who bought these underperforming and useless endowment policies.

Regrettably, it seems, the "old boys network" is still alive and flourishing in Britain.

I assume that Sir Howard, and the life assurance industry did not buy any of these products themselves?

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