Thursday, January 23, 2003

My new letter as promised:

"Dear Sir/Madam,

I wish to make a claim for financial redress in respect of a ***(edited out) endowment policy sold to me, in August 1987, by ***(edited out) the estate agents.

The basis of my claim is as follows:

 The Mortgage Services Partner of *** advised me that the endowment would produce a surplus in excess of the mortgage which would be tax free.

 The Partner did not explain that there was a risk.

 There was no mention of the funds that my endowment would be invested in.

 The Partner did not enquire as to my attitude to risk.

 The Partner did not discuss the fees and charges on the policy.

 There was no fact find completed during the sales process.

 Other options for paying off the mortgage were not discussed.

Please be advised that I have already written to *** along these lines. They reject the claim citing, amongst others, the fact that the Financial Services Act had not yet come into force at this stage. I reject their reasoning on a number of grounds; including, but not limited to, the following:

 Whether the FSA has jurisdiction, or not, over policies purchased before April 1988 is irrelevant. I was told that there would be a tax free surplus over and above the mortgage sum borrowed. There is now a projected shortfall, as advised by ***, of £10500 assuming a 4% growth rate.

I draw your attention to the case summarised in The Times (26 October 2002); whereby David Barker cited a 1965 Court of Appeal judgement by Lord Denning which ruled that a verbal statement which induced someone to take out a contract could be considered to be a warranty. Mr Barker was successful in obtaining compensation from the Halifax for the shortfall in his policy.

 The fact that the Financial Services Act came into force eight months after **** sold me the endowment does not alter the key question as to whether best practice, from both an ethical and industry-wide perspective, was followed when the policy was sold.

 A well regulated ethical company would have been aware of the forthcoming legislation, and would have ensured best practice procedures were in place prior to its implementation; to ensure that the key issues raised by the legislation were addressed.

 As to whether the under-performance of the endowment policy could have been foreseen, or not, is irrelevant. The issue is whether the policy was mis-sold, or not, it is my contention that it was mis-sold.

 I believe that the Sale of Goods act also applies, namely that the policy was sold as a “product” that would cover my mortgage debt, not as an investment. This “product” has been shown to be not “fit for purpose”; and as such the shortfall should be compensated by the agent (****) or the product “manufacturer” ****.

I completed the Financial Ombudsman Endowment Mortgage Questionnaire, which I despatched in November. They have advised me that I should raise this matter with the product provider; ie yourselves. To this end please be advised that I have enclosed the following:

 The Endowment Questionnaire.

 My letter to **** raising the complaint (dated 11 October 2002).

 **** acknowledgement of receipt (dated 21 October 2002).

 The rejection from **** Compliance and Quality Control Director (dated 28 October 2002).

 My response to their rejection (dated 4 November 2002).

 ***** acknowledgement of this (dated 7 November 2002).

Please feel free to contact me if you require further information.

Please be advised that since September I have maintained a public diary of my efforts to obtain redress, on my website Additionally, I have copied this letter to The Times.

Thank you in advance for your time and assistance in this matter.

Yours faithfully,

K. Frost"

Isn't this fun!

Saturday, January 18, 2003

I received a suggestion; by all accounts, if the sales company (company B) and Ombudsman rejects the claim as it was pre 1988, I can try to raise the issue with the company which provided the endowment (which by coincidence is company A).

So I will fire off a letter in the next few days to see if they will do the decent thing.

Thursday, January 16, 2003

Which wrote to me yesterday; saying as the advice they gave me was specific they did not want the letter posted on the web. So in summary their advice was that in their opinion the Sale of Goods Act does not apply as these are investments not products (I would say that they have been sold as products not investments so by default it does)...However, I am not a lawyer!

Bored with waiting for The Times to reply I have fired off one more letter:

"regarding your article published in yesterday's Times; please could you advise me what are the options for claiming redress for an underperforming policy sold to me by ****(edited out) prior to 1988.

As you can see from my website they (identified on the site as company B) will not compensate me, and the Ombudsman has rejected my claim (details on the website).

"Which" do not think I can use the Sale of Goods act (also detailed on the website), and my earlier query about this sent to Anne Ashworth of The Times has not been answered.

Any views?

Thanks for your help.

Kind regards,

Ken Frost"

Friday, January 10, 2003

I received a response from Which today, in respect of my query concerning what I can do to claim compensation for the endowment sold prior to 1988.

The response was very detailed, and I think would be of interest to others. However, the bottom line of the note indicates I should not copy it on to others; so I have written to them asking permission to post it to this website.

I am still waiting for The Times to respond.

Watch this space!

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

Happy New Year everyone.

Whilst I sort out my paperwork, in readiness for another chapter in the continuing struggle against the "forces of darkness" (the comapnies who sold me these policies), why not read about our New Year in Auld Reekie by clicking here.