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FSA appeals order to name and shame Lautro 12

The FSA is appealing to the Information Tribunal against the Information Commissioner’s decision to make it name and shame the 12 endowment mortgage providers which misused Lautro projections in setting premiums.

Last month the Information Commissioner’s Office upheld a freedom of information request to name the 12 firms, which gave customers unrealistically high maturity figures between 1988 and 1994.

It was suggested the revelation would highlight the ongoing issues surrounding endowments and question the legitimacy of time-bar rules.

FSA spokesperson Robin Gordon-Walker says: “We have now lodged an appeal as the Information Commissioner’s decision raises potentially important questions about aspects of our proportionate and risk-based approach to regulation and how we take action to protect consumers. The details of our appeal are confidential until it is heard in the tribunal.”

IFA Defence Union chairman Evan Owen says: “This is excellent news. The problem is not with the life offices’ it is with the regulator and this appeal shows there is something serious they are trying to hide.”

Many advisers have paid out too much compensation for mortgage endowment complaints as a result of the “Lautro 12” debacle and may be entitled to financial redress according to legal experts.

Estimates suggest advisers have paid out around £83m in endowment missales, with the Financial Ombudsman Service upholding around a third of the 50,000 or so complaints, with average payouts of around £5,000. Experts claim, while it is difficult to estimate the extra sums advisers have had to pay out due to mispricing by providers, it is not a trivial amount.

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