Abbey is reportedly still struggling to address and satisfy its endowments problems, some 15 months after Abbey was fined £800K by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) for its poor performance in handling endowment mortgage mis-selling complaints.
According to reports, endowment complaints companies say that paperwork frequently goes missing at Abbey and that their clients are waiting months for a decision from Abbey about their cases.
Keypoint Endowment Claims allege that it has 500 Abbey clients who have all been waiting over 8 weeks for a decision from Abbey. In fact the majority have waited over 3 months.
The FSA rules stipulate that endowment providers must decide whether to uphold or reject a mis-selling complaint within 8 weeks. In the event that they cannot stick to this deadline, they must send a holding letter to complainants. Failure to do this is a breach of the FSA rules, and risks disciplinary action.
John Gardiner, operations director at Keypoint, is quoted as saying:
"Abbey is by far the slowest, most disorganised and inflexible endowment company we deal with.
In more than half of the 500 outstanding cases I have with Abbey, the bank hasn't even sent a holding letter."
Abbey is owned by Banco Santander, and was fined £800K last year and ordered to reopen 50,000 mis-selling cases that it had previously rejected.
I repeat, much of this pain and mess could all be stopped if the life assurance companies bit the bullet and underwrote these useless products that we have been lumbered with.