The FSA found that MAL failed to ensure that its mortgage endowment complaints handling procedures were operating effectively and failed to provide adequate resources for the handling of mortgage endowment complaints. It also failed to ensure that complaint handling personnel were trained to carry out fair investigations.
As a result, the regulator says there was an enhanced risk that endowment mis-selling complaints were either wrongly rejected or delayed.
The FSA has also prohibited William John Pirie, the firm’s sole director, from carrying out any customer functions in regulated financial services due to his mishandling of endowment mortgage complaints received by MAL.
FSA director of enforcement Margaret Cole says: “Firms must have in place and operate an effective complaints handling system as a key part of treating customers fairly. MAL’s endowment complaints handling failings were systemic, lasting for four years and meant consumers who had been mis-sold endowments were at risk of not receiving compensation at all or only after long delay.
“Firms who fail their customers in this way will face enforcement action. MAL would have faced a fine of £400,000 if it had not been for its current financial position.”