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Carphone Warehouse fined 245k over insurance sales

The FSA has fined the Carphone Warehouse 245,000 for failing to inform the regulator in a timely manner of significant system failures surrounding sales of mobile phone insurance.

The regulator says an investigation between January 14 and October 24, 2005 found that the Carphone Warehouse failed to send a statement of demands and needs to 118,000 customers who bought mobile phone insurance through its telesales channel. The FSA says it subsequently discovered that 56,000 of these customers also did not receive a policy summary setting out the main features.

The level of the fine reflects the firm’s failure to notify the regulator of the problems in its telesales distribution channel in a timely manner.

The Carphone Warehouse became aware of its SDN non-compliance in March 2005 but from March to October that year the firm contin- ued to sell insurance when it knew it was not compliant. It agreed to carry out a retrospective mailing of both documents to customers who were affected and has committed to a comprehensive review of its sales process.

FSA director of retail firms Sarah Wilson says: “Customers were exposed to the risk of being left with an insurance policy which was unnecessary or provided incomplete cover leading to rejected claims. In either case, they could suffer some degree of financial loss.”

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