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B&B turns away claim chasers

Bradford & Bingley says it will no longer deal with claim management companies representing customer endowment complaints.

It says the decision – which follows a similar move by Prudential earlier this year – has been made brcaise it is concerned that customers are unaware of the free complaint service available through the company and the free Financial Ombudsman Service if they are unhappy with a decision.If B&B receives a complaint via an endowment chaser it will now write to the customer direct, informing them how they can make a complaint themselves for free.B&B says it has witnessed a dramatic rise in the number of CMCs over the last two years.B&B spokeswoman Nickie Aiken says consumers are being financially disadvantaged by using such firms as they may loose up to half the sum awarded to them and this amount is specifically allocated to cover the shortfall in their mortgage. This echoes a point made in an FSA report released at the end of July:B&B says dealing with endowment claim chaser companies can slow down a claim due to the time required to collate information and says it provides no greater chance of a successful claim.Spokeswoman Nickie Aiken says: “There is no reason for customers to have to resort to these firms. The complaint service that we provide and that of the FOS are both straightforward and free. We are fully aware of our regulatory obligations to our customers and believe our position treats them fairly and complies with the law.”Capital Tower IFA Ian Howell says: “I applaud this decision and hope that other providers follow suit. It is great PR for providers to do this as it shows the IFA community that they are standing up to these companies that are a disgrace to the industry.”

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