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Ex-Colonial worker will look again at loan case

Former Colonial Mutual Group Holdings employee Maurice Timbrell says the court ruling will help him revisit his case against Winterthur.

Timbrell brought a case against the firm in 2001, claiming that the CMGH salesforce was not regulated, did not have adequate training and left workers unable to pay back up-front loans given by the firm.

The judge at the time agreed that CMGH was not compliant with section 44 of the Financial Services Act 1986 although Timbrell lost his case due to the fact that there had been no loss proved in court.

In November 2001, Winterthur’s legal department sent a letter to Timbrell stating: “We are not prepared to supply you with a copy of the section 44 agreement as this was not in evidence at the trial…We would be prepared to arrange for a copy to be made available to the court should they be minded to order production.”

Yet Winterthur confirmed in a letter dated December 2003 that it never had the letter, saying: “It is true we do not appear to have a copy of the original section 44 Colonial Mutual contract. Winterthur acquired Colonial in June 2000 and the contract does not appear to have been provided.”

Timbrell says: “This has shown without doubt that they have been selling a huge number of policies through an unregulated salesforce, with disregard for workers and consumers, and will allow me to revisit my case.”

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