The Endowment Diary

The Endowment Diary

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

Friday, August 24, 2007

The List of Shame

The List of Shame

Congratulations to Money Management magazine for naming and shaming the insurance companies and endowment providers, who tired to hoodwink their customers, that the Financial Services Authority (FSA) tried to cover up.

When these shamed companies sold their products to their unsuspecting customers they used industry standard charges laid down by Lautro, the industry regulator at the time, to show the returns etc that would be expected on the policies..

However, their actual charges levied by these shamed companies were often much higher sometimes double the Lautro rate. Needless to say, they chose not to tell their customers this. This shoddy practice took place between 1988 and 1995.

It is estimated that around 200,000 policyholders, with low-cost mortgage endowments, could be owed up to £200m by these companies as a result of this practice.

The list of shame includes:

-Standard Life
-Pearl
-Axa
-Scottish Widows
-Prudential, owned Scottish Amicable
-Scottish Mutual
-Scottish Provident, now owned by Resolution.

Companies were taking up to 0.75% a year in charges from the fund. However, their customers were given the impression that the charge was only 0.3% (ie less than half).

Some companies, including Axa, Legal & General and Clerical Medical, have set aside money to make good these shortfalls. Others, such as Standard Life, have so far refused.

Shoddy practice by a very shoddy industry, and a disgraceful attempted cover up by a toothless partisan FSA.

It is hardly surprising that the British consumer has lost all faith in the financial services industry.

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