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ombudsman news

issue 23

December 2002

about this issue

We continue to receive more complaints about mortgage endowment policies than about any other topic, so we begin this issue of ombudsman news with a selection of some of these complaints. These include a case where the firm refused to pay up after we upheld the complaint, so the customer had to take legal action to get our decision enforced through the courts.

We focus, too, on some of the problems that can occur following the renewal of insurance policies, especially if insurers fail to make it clear to policyholders that they must disclose any relevant information when they renew their policies.

The complaints we receive about savings accounts generally concern changes to the rates of interest. In this issue we provide banking firms with a reminder of some of the points they need to consider before they alter interest rates - including the potential impact of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations.

Finally, our selection of case studies illustrates the wide range of matters we have dealt with recently, including a complaint about poor advice on investing money for school fees, a case where a bank had to write off the loan it made to a trader after it incorrectly told him it would provide his new business with credit card facilities, and a complaint about pensions advice that we rejected on the grounds that the customer, a teacher, presented contradictory and unreliable evidence.

Walter Merricks, chief ombudsman

ombudsman news gives general information on the position at the date of publication. It is not a definitive statement of the law, our approach or our procedure.

The illustrative case studies are based broadly on real-life cases, but are not precedents. Individual cases are decided on their own facts.