Monday, September 19, 2005

New Forum

New Forum

The financial services industry is supporting a new forum to improve the quality of products and services provided to the retail investor.

The Retail Financial Services Forum will bring together representatives of banks, insurers and financial advisers to test out new ideas and initiatives and to promote best practice.

It will meet quarterly, starting on October 21, and will publish details of its deliberations on the internet.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Campaign Launched

Campaign Launched

Gail McEwan from Scotland is planning to mount a nationwide campaign for justice on behalf of hundreds of Scots, allegedly missold mortgage endowments by solicitors.

She has been awarded £700 in compensation by the legal services ombudsman, after the Law Society of Scotland bungled her own complaints about a policy she was sold by a Glasgow firm of lawyers.

However, she still has a shortfall which she wishes to be made good.

She plans to pressure MSPs, and the Scottish Executive, for fresh legislation which would give consumers who were missold endowments the same rights of redress as customers of financial services firms.

The Herald has the full details here.

I wish her the very best of luck.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

It's An Ill Wind..

It's An Ill Wind...

As the saying goes, "it's an ill wind that blows nobody any good". This certainly appears to be the case for Avalon, a firm of solicitors based in Warrington.

Whilst those of you who hold underperforming endowment policies may be wondering how to pay off the shortfall, Avalon are doing rather well out of the crisis.

Avalon is headed by former TV presenter, Andrew Nulty, and has recently opened a second office. Its turnover is now £5m for the 12 months to the end of July.

Mr Nulty, who presented "Hitman and Her" before setting up Avalon in Manchester four years ago, is confident that fee income will reach £15m over the next year as the firm's caseload is expected to increase.

Avalon switched from being a personal injury practice, to one specialising in industrial disease (eg mining compensation claims) and financial negligence cases.

Mr Nulty is leading a team of 30, who are acting for thousands of people who claim to have been mis-sold endowment policies.


"We saw a niche in the market. We are representing thousands of people who are facing shortfalls on their endowment policies.

Our role is to recoup their losses from the insurance companies, and we take a percentage of the money they receive as a fee

Monday, September 05, 2005

Higher Fines Urged

Higher Fines Urged

Which?, the consumer group, is urging the Financial Services Authority (FSA) to significantly increase the fines it imposes on companies found guilty of mis-selling; in an attempt to crack down on the financial services industry.

Which? says that it wants the Financial Services Authority to levy penalties that are big enough to alarm institutional investors that own shares in the companies facing fines.

Which? believes large penalties would persuade investors to put pressure on financial services companies to prevent mis-selling.

Not a moment too soon in my view.