mis-sold endowment policy

edited 28 August 2013 at 11:35AM in Reclaiming Mortgage Fees, Council Tax, etc
11 replies 1.7K views
gelegele Forumite
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I think I know the answer to this one but hope I may be wrong. We have an endowment policy that we are sure was mis-sold but foolishly have not pursued it earlier. It was time barred in 2006 - a long time ago I know, but in my defence I didn't even know about mis-selling back then and by the time I had heard of it, probably 5 years ago, the time bar was already in place. Can anyone tell me if there is any point whatsoever in pursuing this myself now? I am thinking not but then I keep getting calls from CMCs telling me they can find loopholes in time barring etc. I wouldn't normally consider using a CMC if it was a fairly straightforward case but I'm thinking if my chances of doing it alone are so slim being time barred, is it not worth letting them have a go? Any thoughts/ ideas greatly appreciated.
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  • dunstonhdunstonh Forumite
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    It was time barred in 2006

    Game over then.
    Can anyone tell me if there is any point whatsoever in pursuing this myself now?

    No. The timebars are enforced by providers and companies and existed to stop the issue dragging on for years.
    I am thinking not but then I keep getting calls from CMCs telling me they can find loopholes in time barring etc.

    They cant find a loophole as there isnt one. There is one CMC in particular that cold calls people telling them this. They are just about the only company left still doing this. I believe that once they suck you in, they hit you with an advance fee to pay to proceed with it further. That is where they make their money as they keep that even when the complaint comes back saying it is timebarred.

    For a timebar to be overruled, you would need to show why you did not complain earlier. The acceptable reasons are incapacity or death of direct family member. However, you would have to show not just the three years during the timebar clock but also every year that follows. Incorrect postal address can work (if that is the case) but your reasons are not good enough. You say you didnt know but they wrote to you three times inviting you to complain. So, on paper, your opinion that you didnt know can be shown to be wrong.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • gelegele Forumite
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    Thanks for the reply. when you say, ''they wrote to you 3 times to ask you to complain'', I didn't say that in my post because as far as Im aware they didn't. Are you saying this because they would have been legally obliged to. If so, and they actually didn't, would I have an argument there? We have had the red letters from the endowment company themselves but no separate letters that I am aware of. Just to clarify who would have wrote 3 times? Scottish widows who the plan is with or whoever sold it to us [which wasn't them] We've heard from no-one else except Scottish widows when they send the annual statement. Just need to be sure who you mean by 'they'
  • dunstonhdunstonh Forumite
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    when you say, ''they wrote to you 3 times to ask you to complain'', I didn't say that in my post because as far as Im aware they didn't.

    The warnings were in the annual statements.
    Are you saying this because they would have been legally obliged to.

    Yes they are. However, they only have to show they issued them. they dont need to show you received them. Whilst it is possible that one statement didnt arrive, it is highly unlikely three consecutive years failed to arrive.
    We have had the red letters from the endowment company themselves but no separate letters that I am aware of.

    The red letters are the ones that matter. You get three years from the first red letter.
    Just to clarify who would have wrote 3 times? Scottish widows who the plan is with or whoever sold it to us [which wasn't them]

    The provider handles the time bar. Not the seller.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • gelegele Forumite
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    Thanks again. It is as I expected then - too late. Oh well. The only consolation is that we acted on the red letters in the sense that they advised us to address the potential shortfall and we put some of the mortgage on repayment and have overpaid the interest only part during the last couple of years so we will be ok. Before my first post I rang Scottish Widows to find out who actually sold us the policy,[ because I still don't know!]. They are forwarding the info and although I wont be pursuing it, it'll be nice to know after all these years. By the way the cold calling company were EMCAS just in case that's useful info to anyone.
    Thanks again for your swift replies.
  • McKneffMcKneff Forumite
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    Why do you think it was miss sold then.
    make the most of it, we are only here for the weekend.
    and we will never, ever return.
  • gelegele Forumite
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    McKNeff I think it was mis-sold because when we got the mortgage the estate agent dealt with everything for us. Suggested the mortgage company and told us that an endowment would cover the money at the end and give us some surplus. Is this not the basis of mis-selling? We were young and not financially savvy which would have been clear to the estate agent.

    What's with the grammatical correction? I'm not aware that I made such mistakes but you are free to highlight them if I did. I didn't know you had to have such a high level standard of English to post here!
  • dunstonhdunstonh Forumite
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    The only consolation is that we acted on the red letters in the sense that they advised us to address the potential shortfall and we put some of the mortgage on repayment and have overpaid the interest only part during the last couple of years so we will be ok.

    Which, even without the timebar letters, would allow a another timebar to be applied. You have 6 years from the start or three years from becoming reasonably aware of an issue. As you took action then, they can use that date as the point you become reasonably aware.

    On the plus side, if the economic situation had remained as it was back in the days of big surpluses, you would be worse off overall despite the surplus. The issue with endowments wasnt as much that they underperformed but that the target growth rates were set too high. The lower interest rates allowing you to pay lower mortgage payments (or overpay) was one of the benefits.
    By the way the cold calling company were EMCAS just in case that's useful info to anyone.

    I know. They are the company I was thinking of. They have a dire reputation and considered scammers by many because of the way they act.
    McKNeff I think it was mis-sold because when we got the mortgage the estate agent dealt with everything for us. Suggested the mortgage company and told us that an endowment would cover the money at the end and give us some surplus. Is this not the basis of mis-selling?

    No, that is not mis-selling. Endowments did offer the potential to pay out more at the end and for a good many decades, they did just that. Being told it will pay out more is a mis-sale reason. However, it is unlikely any documentation exists that shows that was said. Depending on the date you took it out, the illustrations issued would have used three example projection rates. in the 90s, the lowest one of these would show a shortfall. As the 90s progressed, even the middle one could show a shortfall as well. Again, depending on dates, the risk warnings issued would have made it clear if it could fall short or not.
    We were young and not financially savvy which would have been clear to the estate agent.

    Do remember that until around the mid 90s the media and consumer groups were pro-endowment. Had this site existed back then it would have had a best endowment section. It is easy to use hindsight to see the flaws but for a period, it was an absolute no brainer to have an endowment.
    What's with the grammatical correction? I'm not aware that I made such mistakes but you are free to highlight them if I did. I didn't know you had to have such a high level standard of English to post here!

    The bit below the line is an automatic signature that appears on all posts.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • McKneffMcKneff Forumite
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    gele wrote: »
    McKNeff I think it was mis-sold because when we got the mortgage the estate agent dealt with everything for us. Suggested the mortgage company and told us that an endowment would cover the money at the end and give us some surplus. Is this not the basis of mis-selling? We were young and not financially savvy which would have been clear to the estate agent.

    What's with the grammatical correction? I'm not aware that I made such mistakes but you are free to highlight them if I did. I didn't know you had to have such a high level standard of English to post here!

    You misunderstand the grammatical correction. It is a signature that is on every post I make. Not directed at anyone in particular. If you look at other peoples posts, most of them have the same signature on every single one of their posts also.
    make the most of it, we are only here for the weekend.
    and we will never, ever return.
  • gelegele Forumite
    124 Posts
    Sixth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Dunstonh Thanks yet again. I will put this to bed now and be thankful for the fact we have attacked our deficit. [and tell EMCAS where to go when they next ring!

    McKneff. I'm so sorry. I read and replied really quickly between jobs and didn't realise it was a signature. I thought it was a strange response to my post ! I hope I haven't upset you:)
  • McKneffMcKneff Forumite
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    gele wrote: »
    Dunstonh Thanks yet again. I will put this to bed now and be thankful for the fact we have attacked our deficit. [and tell EMCAS where to go when they next ring!

    McKneff. I'm so sorry. I read and replied really quickly between jobs and didn't realise it was a signature. I thought it was a strange response to my post ! I hope I haven't upset you:)

    Lol Gele, no offence taken at all, other people have mistaken it before to so I knew what happened.

    I used to have one that said 'Why is it always someone elses fault' oh dear, people took offence at that one cos they thought it was personal to them so I changed it.
    Sorry we couldn't help more. Dunstonh is great, theres not much anyone can teach him.
    x
    Annie.
    make the most of it, we are only here for the weekend.
    and we will never, ever return.
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