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FSA bans Jonathan Hardie for mishandling mortgage endowment complaints

The FSA has banned Jonathan Leigh Hardie, of Primedale Financial Services, from being a senior manager for mishandling mortgage endowment complaints over a period of five years.

The FSA discovered that Hardie, a director and responsible for compliance at the now defunct company, failed to consider his regulatory responsibilities when dealing with complaints.

The FSA found that between January 2001 and May 2006 he did not assess complaints fairly and objectively having already decided that Primedale had never knowingly mis-sold an endowment policy.

The regulator found that Hardie did not investigate missing information relating to complaints or consider the suitability of recommendations and failed to give customers proper, fair and balanced reasons for rejecting complaints.

It was also found that Hardie did not identify and remedy recurring problems in Primedale’s endowment mortgage complaints handling procedures and reviewed complaints for which he was the original adviser.

As a result, the FSA says customers were exposed to the risk that they would not receive compensation to which they were entitled.

FSA head of retail enforcement Jonathan Phelan says firms must have in place and operate an effective complaints handling system as a key part of treating customers fairly.

He says: “Mr Hardie was responsible for ensuring that Primedale reviewed and responded fairly to the mortgage endowment complaints it received but he fell a long way short of achieving this and as a consequence has been banned from being a senior manager.

“Our action should leave firms in no doubt that the FSA places great emphasis on the importance of adequate complaints handling systems and individuals responsible for handling complaints should take appropriate steps to assess complaints fairly, consistently and effectively.”

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