Royal London has been fined £400,000 by the PIA and ord-ered to pay
£15m in compensation to 65,000 customers for breaches relating to the
sale of investment products.
Royal London is now conducting a review of the past sales of its full
product range, including endowments, wholeof-life policies and savings
plans, and will provide further compensation where customers have been
The failings include not taking into account customers' investment
objectives to ens-ure the product is suitable for them and not providing
It also failed to maintain an adequate system of compliance control and
did not monitor the conduct of its sales staff or ensure staff were
sufficiently trained and competent to give investment advice.
The fines relate to the period April 1996 to March 1999. Michael Pickard,
who was chief executive until April 1998, is now a non-executive director
at Equitable Life.
A PIA spokesman says: “Royal London has undertaken a radical and thorough
overhaul of the business since the identification of these failures by a
PIA visit in January 1999.”
Royal London group chief executive Mike Yardley says: “We have accepted
the PIA's findings. More important, we have taken significant steps in
recent years to tighten our sales process and improve training. Where
customers have been disadvantaged, we will ensure they are compensated as
quickly as possible.”