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Costs rise as FSA takes Lautro case to High Court

Industry costs to pay for the FSA’s continued refusal to name the Lautro 19 will rise further after the regulator launched a High Court appeal.

It is to appeal against last month’s Information Tribunal decision, which rejected the FSA’s argument that the Information Commissioner did not have the right to order the publication of such information.

The regulator is thought to have already spent around £50,000 preventing the names being released since the orig- inal Freedom of Information request by IFA Defence Union chairman Evan Owen in January 2005.

If the FSA loses this preliminary argument in the High Court, the tribunal is expected to then rule on whether the IC was right to order the publication of the names, which could lead to further legal battles.

The IC originally ruled in August 2007 that the FSA had to name the endowment mortgage providers which misused Lautro projections in setting premiums, meaning customers were given unrealistically high maturity figures.

Advisers say unrealistic projections led many consumers to complain about endowment shortfalls that were exaggerated or non-existent, which led to misselling payouts that would not have occurred if the projections were correct.

Owen says: “Why are IFAs paying for the legal bill to defend the indefensible?”

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