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Outcry as FSA fights to keep Lautro 12 secret

Advisers have slammed the FSA’s decision to appeal against the Information Commissioner’s ruling to name the Lautro 12.

The commissioner last month upheld a freedom of information request to name the 12 firms that mispriced Lautro projection rates, leading to unrealistically high maturity figures between 1988 and 1994.

But FSA spokesman 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.”

But CBK principal Peter Chadborn says: “It looks like something is being hidden and providers are not being forthcoming so it does nothing to help relations or instil confidence in the industry.”

The debacle has resulted in advisers paying too much compensation for mortgage endowment complaints raising the issue of them being entitled to financial redress. Estimates suggest advisers have paid out around 83m on endowments.

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

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