The Endowment Diary

The Endowment Diary


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

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Scots Shortchanged

Scots Shortchanged

Linda Costelloe Baker, Scottish legal services ombudsman, warned on Tuesday that the legislation aimed at tightening the regulation of lawyers will not prevent the mis-selling of mortgage policies.

Ms Costelloe Baker said that last year she handled a record 482 complaints, about the way the Law Society of Scotland and Faculty of Advocates handled complaints about their members.

Around 25% of that related to endowment mis-selling complaints.

The Scottish Executive is proposing a new bill which will create an independent commission to handle complaints about lawyers. However, Ms Costelloe Baker said that this would leave the society in charge of practice rules.


"When I was looking at the bill I had endowment misselling complaints very much in mind. I kept on asking myself would this bill stop this happening again, and it wouldn't. Not while the actual regulation is done by the profession.

For example, the society did not expect solicitors to keep business files relating to the sale of endowment policies, so there is little or no evidence on which to base an investigation

Scots who bought policies from solicitors before December 1 2001, when the Financial Services and Markets Act came into effect, do not qualify for a deal from the Financial Ombudsman Service. They can claim compensation through the society, but only to a maximum of £1000.

A pretty raw deal by anyone's standards!

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