The Endowment Diary

The Endowment Diary

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

Monday, January 19, 2009

Norwich Union Cuts Bonuses

Norwich Union Cuts Bonuses

The annual bonus season is upon us again and, unsurprisingly, cuts are in the offing.

Norwich Union has announced a cut in bonus payments on its "with profits" (such an ironic name!) policies. The 2.3 million people who hold a Norwich "with profits" policy suffered a cut of up to 16%.

This means that the majority of Norwich's endowment mortgage customers are likely to face a shortfall when their policy matures.

David Barral, Norwich Union Director, is quoted in the Guardian:

"Our with-profits funds have continued to prove their worth by delivering attractive long-term returns for investors while protecting them from the ups and downs of the stockmarket."

Could someone from the financial services industry care to explain to the millions of hapless "with profits" policy holders why "with profits" smoothing, in poor years, is never applied (as evidenced by the sharp cuts in bonuses); yet in good years it is applied?

Other companies will be announcing their cuts in due course, and it is certain that they will be as bad or worse than Norwich Union.

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