Press Releases

HISTORIC PRESS RELEASE : More effort needed in pensions review – Patricia Hewitt [September 1998]

The press release issued by HM Treasury on 21 September 1998.

There has been further progress in dealing with priority cases among the firms, involved in personal pensions mis-selling, monitored by the Treasury, Economic Secretary Patricia Hewitt said today.

Of the 29 firms, whose results to the end of August are published today, only seven have resolved less than 75 per cent of their priority cases. Four of the those seven are networks of independent financial advisers. In March only 7 of the firms monitored by the Treasury had resolved over 75 per cent of their cases.

Ms Hewitt said:

“These results show what can be accomplished when real effort is put in by the firms. Every one of these firms must now focus on the deadline of the end of the year for completing their priority reviews. I want all these firms to demonstrate to their customers, in the most practical way possible, that they are putting things right.”

The Treasury’s published figures mainly relate to cases involving older investors, including those who have retired. In August the Financial Services Authority (FSA) published guidelines on how firms should review cases of younger investors.

Commenting on the FSA’s initiative, the Minister said:

“It is now time for firms to start gearing up for the second phase of work on remedying mis-selling of personal pensions. I want to see all firms prepared and ready to go at the start of next year. There must be no return to the foot dragging which accompanied the start of the phase I review.

“And frankly I am appalled at the attitude of some independent financial advisers to the task ahead. Their campaign to stop the phase 2 review shows a total disregard for their customers’ welfare and does them no credit.”