The British National Party has launched a financial services arm called Albion Life Insurance to help fund its campaigns and electioneering.Albion, which describes itself as a non-profit organ- isation, appears to be acting as an introducer to an unnamed broker targeting BNP members with life insurance products but it does not appear on the FSA website. The link between Albion and the BNP is made explicit on Albion’s website, which says: “By taking out a life policy with Albion Life you can help the serious political campaigning work of the BNP.” Albion also sponsors the news section on the home page of the BNP website. It invites members to make the BNP a beneficiary on the product and cites the threat of Islamic fundamentalism and economic migrants from Eastern Europe as reasons to review existing cover and switch to its policy. The officers of Albion Life are BNP members, acting as unpaid volunteers, and aim to “secure a robust financial situation for the BNP”, indicating that at least some of the commission received will be paid to the party. Whether the broker is single or multi-tied is unclear but Albion promises its broker will provide quotes from a range of insurers. Customers are invited to submit their details online to get a quote and asked to specify whether they want life insurance or life insurance with critical-illness cover. A BNP spokesman says: “We picked up on a figure about the number of people that snuff it each year and thought that there might be a number of members who could use these services. I do not know anything about the rigmarole of financial services but we are running the service through a broker.” Compliance consultant Adam Samuel says: “Under the insurance mediation directive, anyone introducing for insurance purposes must either be regulated or an appointed representative of someone who is. “If they are introducing for any insurance in the course of business, they are acting illegally in introducing if they are not authorised.” Technology & Technical founder Kim North says: “This flies in the face of treating customers fairly and everything the financial promotions rules are about. There is no status disclosure saying whether they are tied, multi-tied or whole of market.” The Albion site is registered to Steve Blake, who owns an IT consultancy company called Digital Scotland. He has been described as the webmaster of the BNP by anti-fascist organisation Searchlight and is assistant co-ordinator of the BNP in Scotland.
Scottish Widows Bank has launched a two year fixed rate offset mortgage product enabling customers to offset against a fixed rate until October 31 2008.The option to offset was previously only available to customers on a variable, tracker or discounted product.The rates will be 5.45 per cent for up to 95 per cent and 5.99 […]
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