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NU wants code of conduct for endowment chasers

Norwich Union is pressing the FSA to develop a code of conduct for no-win no-fee endowment chasers.

The life office is concerned about many of the practices rife in the sector, where some third-party endowment complaint-handling firms are believed to charge as much as 50 per cent of an award to consumers who are successful in their claim against insurers.

NU is writing to the regulator with its ideas for a code of practice and eventual statutory regulation for the sector, which it says numbers 114 firms.

It supports comments from Financial Ombudsman Scheme chief ombudsman Walter Merricks, who has called for endowment-chasers to stop raising expectations falsely and to be more open about their processes and fees.

One firm, Endowment Compensation Help Organisation, says it gets redress for over 90 per cent of its clients compared with an estimated 33 per cent of clients who “choose to go it alone without any professional help”.

Spokesman James Evans says: “We called in October for the regulation of third-party endowment complaint handlers and we are now putting together our thoughts to send to the regulator about what a code of practice or regulation could look like.”

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