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Verdin anger at &#39lost chance to shake up flawed ASU&#39

Direct Life & Pensions sales and marketing director Richard Verdin says the ABI and CML review of ASU insurance is the biggest missed opportunity in the industry in the last 10 years Verdin says root and branch reform of payment protection is clearly needed but all the trade bodies have achieved has been to “dust off” ASU and conclude that it is serving consumer needs.

Writing in Money Marketing this week, Verdin suggests the common financial interest in the continuance of ASU sales for the CML and the ABI may have hampered their ability to review the product.

He says over three million new MPPI policies have been sold in the last four-and-a-half years but growth and maintenance of the policies has risen by only 986,000.

He says the only conclusion that can be drawn is that policyholders have allowed their policies to languish because of their dissatisfaction.

Under the Government&#39s drive to promote sustainable home ownership, the trade bodies reviewed mortgage payment protection products, a market in which ASU dominates.

Verdin says: “The basic flaw is that ASU benefits can only be paid out for a maximum of 12 or 24 months. There is a clear mismatch between the product and the consu-mers&#39 needs.”

ABI spokeswoman Emma Quantrill says: “The product was originally designed to cover the average time that someone would be off sick or made redundant for, which it continues to do.”


A&L speeds up online mortgage applications

Alliance & Leicester is streamlining its online application system to speed up and simplify the mortgage application process for intermediaries. Paper-based applications used with online submissions are being replaced by a customer declaration document which needs to be returned before completion. A&L says it is now getting 90 per cent of its applications online and […]

Millfield issue brings it closer to self-financing

Millfield has boosted its working capital by £3.6m through the issue of 6.4 million shares in a move that the group&#39s directors hope will enable it to become self-financing. The issue, which increases the amount that Millfield has raised since its March 2001 flotation to £44m, will generate cash which the group says will be […]

Saffron Walden appoints new chairman

The Saffron Walden Herts & Essex Building Society has appointed Richard Herbert as its new chairman. Herbert joined the society&#39s board in 2002 and is currently managing director of the Herbert Group in Haverhill. He will be taking over from David Hollest who stepped down after serving five years as chairman and 22 years as […]

Top protection cash offer as Sesame signs four for panel

Sesame will offer higher commission to intermediaries who sign up to its new four-member protection multi-tie panel to be unveiled next week. The company says the Protection Select Plus panel will offer the highest commission rates available in the market through providers Friends Provident, Norwich Union, Legal & General and Abbey. The new panel is […]


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