Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Extra Compensation Won

Extra Compensation Won

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) claims that due to its pressure, life assurance companies and others involved in the most notorious financial scandal in recent British history, have been forced to pay compensation to over 100,000 customers whose endowment mis-selling complaints had previously been rejected.

The FSA claims that due to its pressure, 75% of the rejected claims have so far been decided in favour of the customers.

This represents around an extra £120m in compensation.

Vernon Everitt from the FSA gave warning to the financial services industry that the FSA would be keeping a very close eye on how the firms were operating.


"It is encouraging that firms have improved the speed and quality of how they handle complaints.

News of a potential shortfall is a major worry for consumers and firms owe it to them to deal with their complaints quickly and fairly.

They need to pay particular attention to helping people deal with shortfalls when policies mature

Around 1.8 million people have received compensation for mis-sold underperforming useless endowment products, totalling £2.7BN.

The FSA should be wary of indulging in too much self congratulations. Millions of people are still facing a shortfall on their endowment policy, with little idea of how they are going to cover their mortgage debt.

The life assurance industry could put a stop to this chaos now, by agreeing to underwrite these useless underperforming products. Instead they are more than happy to pass the buck to others.

Thursday, December 07, 2006



Research carried out by the Financial Services Consumer Panel indicates that consumers are using mortgage endowment claims companies to save time, and help them through what they see as a complex process.

The research also claims that around 66% of successful claimants believe that they have received value for money from mortgage endowment claims firms. Given that the claim firms usually charge between 20%-30% of the compensation recovered, for work that the claimant usually do himself, this "value for money" seems to be a somewhat misguided belief.

Even more bizarrely, 25% of those who were unsuccessful said that they would definitely recommend the services of a mortgage endowment claims firm.

Given the alarmingly naivety of the respondents, it is hardly surprising that the financial services industry make such "hansom" profits out of the British public year in year out.

John Howard, chairman of the Financial Services Consumer Panel said:

"Some consumers seem quite prepared to pay part of their compensation to a claims firm, especially when the alternative is to receive no compensation at all, because they do not have the time or the confidence to pursue a claim themselves.

It is not clear the claim firms save consumers that much time and there was dissatisfaction with some aspects of the service provided by some firms; not giving details about the fees up front, and poor service in telling clients when the claim was not successful. This needs to be considered as the government starts to regulate this arena through the Department of Constitutional Affairs

Quite why this is a DCA matter is beyond me, as it clearly comes under the FSA's and Treasury's remit.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Legal Loophole Helps Scots

Legal Loophole Helps Scots

An estimated 100,000 Scots homeowners, who missed the deadline for lodging endowment mis-selling claims, may still be eligible for compensation.

That at least is the view of Gerry Diamond, of the Endowment Compensation Centre, who has discovered a possible legal loophole which may help those who bought policies from Scottish providers including; Standard Life, Scottish Widows and Scottish Amicable.

Mr Diamond believes that the tree year time limit imposed by the Financial services Authority (FSA) is illegal in Scotland, because Scots law allows five years to challenge unfair contracts.


"This means that people should have two more years to claim than the three-year FSA rule that is currently applied by many sellers of endowment policies."

It is estimated that over 400,000 Scots have been mis-sold endowment policies.

As I keep saying, all of this trouble could be stopped here and now if the life assurance companies "stepped up to the plate" and underwrote these useless underperforming products.