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Policies&#39 probe may name and shame big life offices

Several major life companies could face public naming and shaming by the

FSA if they are found to be at fault in the mortgage endowment review.

It could lead to a number of leading life offices being forced by the

regulator to conduct a full-scale review of all their endowment policies in

a move reminiscent of the pension misselling scandal.

In a statement last week, the FSA said it was “continuing its focused work

looking at individual firms. This has included reviewing historical selling

practices and, in some cases, the way premiums were set and represented to

consumers.”

Among firms thought to be at risk are Axa Equity & Law, Eagle Star and

Lloyds TSB. Syndaxi director Rob Reid says: “As I recall, there were two

companies, Axa Equity & Law and Eagle Star, who were less than forthcoming

with the gross assumptions they were using in making illustrations to

clients.”

Axa Sun Life marketing manager Steve Muir says: “Different providers had

different interpretations at the time. It is dangerous and misleading to

suggest there is a list of bad boys when the FSA review is ongoing.”

Eagle Star spokeswoman Sandra Paul says: “We categorically refute that the

FSA is investigating us over endowment complaints.”

FSA spokesman Rob McIvor says: “We cannot say more at this stage but watch

this space.”

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