So how did N&P's advisers take the company from a safe-as-houses building society to the centre of one of the biggest mis-selling scandals of the decade?
The company was today fined £1.4m by the FSA for failing to give its customers suitable advice in relation to the sale of Keydata products.
It has agreed ex gratia payments - worth some £51m - to customers to "ensure they do not lose out as a result of their investment".
An independent third party review found 65% of a sample of N&P's sales of Keydata products were based on unsuitable advice.
The FSA considers the level of unsuitable sales is likely to be significantly higher.
But where did it all go wrong?
N&P emphasised Keydata products were not linked to movements in stocks and shares but failed to make it clear that these products were at least as risky as many stocks and shares.
2) Suitability letters
Some of the suitability letters provided to customers incorrectly stated that income was guaranteed. The Keydata products aimed to provide regular income, but this was not guaranteed. Neither was capital growth.
Over half the customers sampled were advised to place 20% or more of their total available funds into these products, and over 10% were advised to invest more than 50% of their total available funds.
4) Age of customers
The average age of the customers was 62, so many were in or near retirement and may have been particularly vulnerable in the event of loss of capital or income.
5) Ignored compliance warnings
N&P ignored compliance warnings in June 2007 about the process for assessing a customer's attitude to risk; giving appropriate risk warnings; whether alternative products were considered and diversification. By ignoring the warning, it allowed the misconduct to span a period of more than three years.
6) Wrong ATR
In a 'significant number' of cases, the third party conducting the review questioned N&P's attitude to risk (ATR) rating of four for customers with no previous investment experience. It found the personal circumstances of many of the customers sampled were more consistent with a lower tolerance of risk or a lower capacity for loss.
7) Protecting vulnerable clients
N&P should have been aware Keydata products offering a return of 7-8% would be attractive to its more vulnerable customers, such as the elderly, who were seeking higher income than was available from deposits, but were also less able to cope with any losses.
8) Inexperienced client base
Many N&P customers had little investment experience, often limited to lower risk cash products. The Keydata products were complex and may not have been easily understood by such inexperienced retail investors.
9) Failed to consider alternative products
Many of the customers could have been recommended more appropriate products. In 2007 and 2008, there were alternatives available to N&P's advisers which offered interest rates within a couple of percentage points of those of the Keydata products with an element of capital protection. However, N&P advisers did not consider them.
10) Too high concentration
The average amount invested was £18,871 out of an average portfolio size of £113,760. Average concentration level was 24.27%. N&P's own internal review also showed relatively high levels of concentration. Of the 22 customers it reviewed, eight (36.4%) had 10-30% of their total portfolio invested in Keydata, five (22.7%) had 30-50% and six (27.3%) had over 50% invested. Two customers had over 80% of their total portfolio invested.
(Source: The FSA's Final Notice)
An ambitious objective
'Something completely new'
'Illusion of control'
Reasons to be cheerful
Total investment reaches £9m