Monday, July 27, 2009

Slash and Burn Policy

Slash and Burn Policy

Aviva (nee Norwich Union) has slashed the payouts on its with-profits (an ironic term, given how useless these products are) endowments and pensions.

Aviva runs several with-profits funds including those sold by; General Accident, Commercial Union, Norwich Union and Provident Mutual.

- A 25 year General Accident mortgage endowment is now down 8.4%

- Aviva Life is now down 12%

- Commercial Union down 7.7%.

Precisely why does the FSA allow life assurance companies to use the phrase "with profits", when it is very clear that they do not do that?

Read more:

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Aviva Error

Aviva Error

The Telegraph reports that a computer error by Aviva, has resulted in the miscalculation of Aviva's orphan asset payout to 9,000 policyholders.

One million policy holders were contacted in May, wrt the terms of distribution for Aviva's £1.4BN inherited estate.

Aviva was then forced to send another letter to 9,000 policyholders, to tell them of a "technical error" that resulted in them being offered the wrong amount.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

99% Shortfall

99% Shortfall

This Is Money reports that a staggering 99% of endowment policies will fail to pay off the mortgages which they were designed to cover.

With over 4.3M policies still in force this means that millions of people will be affected by the failure of these useless products.

The FSA and the life assurance companies that "manage" these failed products continue to hide behind the excuse that, as they are investments, the consumer knowingly accepted the risk that they might not cover the mortgage.

This excuse is not valid, as the life assurance companies told the hapless consumer that they were designed to pay off their mortgages. Why else would anyone have bought these products if they were not going to fulfil their primary function of paying off a mortgage?

The fact 99% of them will fail to do this is proof that the product was poorly designed, and continues to be atrociously "managed" (eg why do life assurance companies continue to milk the policies of commissions, when they have demonstrably failed?).

The consumer has been ripped off by the life assurance industry, and left to rot by the FSA.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Lautro 19 To Remain "Secret"

Lautro 19 To Remain "Secret"

Any hope of naming and shaming the Lautro 19 is now "dead and buried", according to former IFA Defence Union chief Evan Owen.

The Information Commissioner's office has stated that the High Court has ruled that the information falls under absolute exemption rules under the Freedom of Information Act, and therefore does not have to be disclosed.

The Information Commission ruled in August 2007 that the FSA had to name the mortgage endowment providers which misused Lautro projections in setting premiums, which lead to clients being given unrealistically high maturity figures (cynics might say that they were conned).

The hapless FSA, ever keen to protect the financial services industry from the consumer, appealed against the decision. In October 2008 the Information Tribunal rejected the FSA's appeal.

The FSA then took the appeal to the High Court, which upheld the appeal.

If only the FSA were as zealous when protecting the consumer!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

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