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Bereft chasers switch to Serps and PPI

A downturn in revenue from endowment complaints and the end of the flood of complaints is forcing claim management companies to look at other areas, says the Claims Standards Council.

CSC spokesman Andy Wigmore says some unscrupulous claim companies believe that they can convince the consumer that “anything with financial services on it” has been missold and are repositioning themselves.

Wigmore says that he has seen an increase in advertising from claim handlers offering services regarding opting out from Serps or the state second pension, payment protection insurance sold with mortgages and other mortgage activity as advertising about making endowment complaints has dipped.

The council is concerned about some practices in these areas with some firms charging a £250 up-front fee and then often telling consumers that they have no grounds for complaint, says Wigmore. He says the council has been passing on examples of such behaviour to the future regulator.

Endowment Risk principal Michael Cooper says time-bar rules have led to a significant drop in revenues from endowment complaints. Cooper is co-ordinating appeals to the Financial Ombudsman Service against the rules and hopes to take the issue to judicial review. He says his firm will not diversify.

Wigmore says: “The more questionable companies see anything with financial services on it and believe that they can convince the consumer that something has been missold.”

Staffordshire county council trading standards department is set to take on regulation of claim-chasers

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