The FSA has hit Zurich subsidiary Allied Dunbar Assurance with a £725,000 fine for failing to properly review claims of endowments mis-selling.
Despite several amendments to case handling procedures, the regulator says the company must revisit all complaints rejected in the period January 2000 to April 2003, including some 1,000 cases which the FSA says "in practice is the number of customers who may have suffered losses".
Key to the breakdown in the firm’s handling of cases was misguided advice to its own staff handling complaints resulting in poor quality investigations and failure to gather sufficient evidence to make a judgement of clients’ attitude to risk or the suitability of the sale.
The FSA says the fine also reflects the need for firms to recognise their responsibilities do not end once a sale has been "clinched".
So far the regulator has levied the following fines on firms for failures linked to endowments:
- Royal Scottish Assurance £2m,
- Winterthur Life £500,000,
- Abbey Life £1m,
- Scottish Amicable £750,000,
- Royal & Sun Alliance £950,000,
- Friends Provident £675,000.
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