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High Court to take over a month on Lautro 19 ruling

The High Court will take over a month to decide whether the FSA’s appeal to avoid naming the Lautro 19 has been successful.

In October, the Information Tribunal rejected the FSA’s argument that the Information Commissioner had no right to order the publication of the names of businesses involved.

In court on Monday, Justice Munby considered new closed evidence which refocused the FSA’s argument on Section 348 of the Financial Services and Markets Act. It states that confidential information received by the FSA must not be disclosed without consent.

The case stems from a Freedom of Information request by IFA Defence Union chairman Evan Owen in January 2005. The IC ruled in August 2007 the FSA had to name the mortgage endowment providers which misused Lautro projections in setting premiums, meaning clients were given unrealistically high maturity figures. Advisers claim the incorrect projections led to misselling payouts for endowment shortfalls that were exaggerated or non-existent.

Justice Munby said it is “unlikely that there will be a decision within the next month”.

Owen says: “The FSA has dragged this out so the two-year time limit on third-party contribution claims has run out. The FSA is protecting the life offices and I want to know if it will give IFAs extra time to claim if its appeal is not upheld.”

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