The FSA has banned a mortgage firm director after he reviewed complaints for which he was the original adviser - and let himself off.
The regulator has told Jonathan Leigh Hardie, a former director of Primedale Financial Services, he can not hold a senior manager role for five years.
It says it found between January 2001 and May 2006, Hardie did not assess complaints, of which it received 389 during the period reviewed, fairly “having already decided that Primedale had never knowingly mis-sold an endowment policy”.
It also says he did not investigate missing information relating to complaints, consider the suitability of recommendations, or give customers proper, fair and balanced reasons for rejecting complaints in Primedale's final response letters.
In addition, the FSA says Hardie did not identify and remedy recurring problems in Primedale's endowment mortgage complaints handling procedures.
Jonathan Phelan, head of retail enforcement at the FSA, says: “Firms must have in place and operate an effective complaints handling system as a key part of treating customers fairly.
“Mr Hardie was responsible for ensuring that Primedale reviewed and responded fairly to the mortgage endowment complaints it received but he fell a long way short of achieving this and as a consequence has been banned from being a senior manager.
“Our action should leave firms in no doubt that the FSA places great emphasis on the importance of adequate complaints handling systems and individuals responsible for handling complaints should take appropriate steps to assess complaints fairly, consistently and effectively.”
Primedale is now in liquidation.
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