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F.S.A stands firm over endowment enquiry (Financial Adviser)

More than 2 million people in the UK with mortgage endowment policies are still facing an endowment shortfall, according to the F.S.A.

In a report published this week, the regulator announces that 82% of those households have a projected endowment shortfall of £7,200 but the regulator still has no plans to hold an enquiry.

Anna Bradley, director of retail themes for the F.S.A said that it was important that companies appreciate the severity of the situation.

She said: "It is important for consumers that firms handle complaints fairly, effectively and promptly as our rules require.

"There has been a sustained effort by the industry to improve complaint handling and we will now be focusing our efforts on those firms that have not yet established appropriate standards.

To date, the F.S.A has issued more than 29 million endowment policy fact sheets to consumers and fined 9 companies for endowment policy related failings.

Ms Bradley said:" We expect firms to act now to make sure they have adequate contingency plans in place for any increase in the volume of complaints. Those firms not maintaining acceptable standards of handling will be required to rectify the situation."

The association of British Insurers aid the number of endowment policies in force dropped  to 7.5 million in March from 11 million in "001.

Chris Kenny, director of life and pensions for the ABI, said the F.S.A should recognise that the industry has been taking action. He said:" The efforts of the industry and others seems to be paying off."

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