Press Releases

HISTORIC PRESS RELEASE : Helen Liddell meets victims of mis-selling [October 1997]

The press release issued by HM Treasury on 7 October 1997.

Two victims of personal pensions mis-selling today met with the Economic Secretary, Helen Liddell to discuss their cases.

Stella Gardner, a home care officer from Poole,Dorset and Christine Culbert, a school administrative assistant from London told the minister about their experiences of trying to get redress from the pension companies.

Following the meeting, Mrs Liddell said:

“This is the human face of pensions mis-selling. The statistics tell a grim tale but cannot give a true picture of just how much distress is caused. However,at last, it is heartening to meet people who have taken their complaints forward and – finally – received the redress they deserve. Their experiences illustrate the need for all firms involved in mis-selling to start looking after their customers. Delays and buck passing must stop.

“The very best customer care must be deployed if the industry is to regain the trust of its customers.”

The Minister urged people to check their pension provisions and if they believe they have a complaint, to pursue it. With compensation payments averaging 7,500 Pounds being made into people’s pension funds, it could make a real difference to their pension entitlement.

She said:

“We all get a lot of junk mail and it is very easy for   questionnaires from pension firms on the review to get overlooked. If your company is requesting information please reply.

“Don’t be put off: where it is due, redress will be made.”

When she met 17 firms in September, Mrs Liddell asked each firm to provide a statement setting out the policy they had adopted and the practical plans they had made to complete their reviews and better the targets set for them by the Personal Investment Authority (PIA). These plans will be published later this week.  The 17 firms have also provided the first monthly update on the progress they have achieved.

These figures, which cover the period to the end of September, were published alongside information provided by the 24 firms with the most cases to review.

The September figures show that:

  • 5 of the 41 firms have resolved over half their cases;
  • 25 firms have resolved between 25-50 per cent of cases; and
  • 11 firms have resolved under 25 per cent.

On the figures, the Minister said:

“I want the public to have information to help people judge for themselves just how committed each firm is to achieving real progress.”

“The latest figures illustrate in stark terms how important it is that firms pull out all the stops. Clearly it is possible to make progress, though some firms are still lagging far behind.”