Were you mis-sold an Endowment Mortgage?

Nearly 10 million mortgage endowment policies were sold by banks and insurance companies during the 1980s and 1990s. Customers were routinely promised such policies would repay their mortgage loan and most likely provide a surplus lump sum as well. Although endowment policies invested in the stock market, the risks were rarely mentioned and, quite simply, most people did not understand how they worked or what the alternatives were.

Over the past fifteen years, the scale of the mis-selling has become clear, with vast numbers of people being told their endowment would fall a long way short of the amount it was meant to pay out.

You may have heard that it is too late now to complain about the advice you received, but that is not always true. If you surrendered or sold your mortgage endowment policy prior to 2007 and have not yet claimed compensation, we would like to hear from you.

If you surrendered or sold your mortgage endowment policy prior to 2007 and have not yet claimed compensation, we would like to hear from you.

Three important facts & myths

Myth: It is now too late for anyone mis-sold an endowment mortgage to complain

Fact: In order to be out of time to complain, your endowment provider must have sent you a certain number of “High Risk” shortfall warning letters. If you haven’t had such letters – perhaps because you sold or  surrendered your endowment some years ago, or the letters were sent to an old address – then you can still make a complaint.

Myth: You cannot complain if you sold your policy to one of the many investment companies that buy second-hand endowment policies.

Fact: As the advice to take out the policy was given to the original policyholder, that person (or persons if it was a joint policy) can still complain about the advice. It makes no difference if the policy was later sold on the second-hand endowment market or cashed-in.

Myth: You cannot complain if you do not have your endowment policy documentation any more.

Fact: Whilst it is always helpful to have as much documentation as possible, we can obtain everything we need from your endowment provider. We can even find out your endowment policy number if you no longer have a note of it.

We receive many enquiries each day from people concerned about the advice they were given to buy their home using a mortgage endowment policy.

Below we have answered the top ten questions we are asked. If your own question is not here – or you would just like more information – please feel free to contact us.

In many cases, this is not true. Whilst the banks and insurance companies that sold the vast majority of endowments are entitled to refuse to consider your case if you have been sent letters warning you about the “High Risk” of a shortfall, many people have not received such letters. This is typically because they had already surrendered or sold their endowment before such letters were sent. Or, they had moved house and the letters were sent to the wrong address.

If you do not recall receiving “High Risk” shortfall warning letters (also entitled “Red Alert” letters in some instances) you should get in touch with us straightaway.

Yes, we believe a large number of people that surrendered their endowment policy before 2007 will still be eligible for compensation. It does not matter how long ago you surrendered or sold your policy. In fact, the further back in time it was, the better your chances of being successful.

No, there is no final deadline affecting everyone. You may be out of time if you have been sent “High Risk” shortfall warning letters by your endowment provider. If you haven’t then you may still be entitled to substantial compensation.

Yes, we may be able to make a claim for you via the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. This scheme was set-up to pay compensation to people mis-sold financial products by firms that are no longer trading.

Unfortunately not. You only have one chance to complain. Unless your case was rejected within the last six months, we will not be able to help you on this occasion.

Sadly not. If you have accepted a compensation offer already it will not be possible to reopen your case.

We are one of the leading law firms specialising in endowment mis-selling. We firmly believe that one of the great advantages of using us, rather than you going it alone, is that we have a large database of cases and we can cross-reference from one case to another. When a case succeeds, it sets a precedent that we can apply to others. That way, every one of our clients benefits from the work we do on each case – this is an invaluable weapon in the fight for compensation.

On average, it takes about 8 weeks to complete your claim and for you to receive your compensation. We will handle everything on your behalf. Apart from signing the occasional form, we will keep your involvement to a minimum.

We charge 35% plus VAT of the amount of compensation awarded to you. Unlike some firms, we do not charge upfront administration fees and we do not charge extra if your case needs to be submitted to the Financial Ombudsman for an independent assessment. If we do not win compensation for you, there will be absolutely no charge, no matter how much time we have spent on it.

The term “complaint” is nothing to worry about. It is actually just industry short-hand. It doesn’t mean there will be any unpleasant and confrontational arguments. When we submit a complaint it means nothing more than we are putting our concerns to the firm and explaining why we feel an endowment mortgage was unsuitable for you. We explain to the firm why we believe the selling rules were breached in the way your policy was sold. Endowment providers call this a “complaint” for short. It is in some ways an unfortunate word to use as it does not sit well with many people. But you should not be deterred by it. What we actually do is investigate the sale in a reasoned and professional manner and mediate a resolution on your behalf.