Money News: is fined £455,000 as City hit squad strikes again

The Financial Services Authority has fined credit broker £455,000 for failing to treat its customers fairly over the sale of payment protection insurance (PPI).

The company did not have sufficient controls in place to "minimise the risk of unsuitable sales", said the City regulator.

PPI is sold with loans, and is designed to pay out if the borrower is unable to make repayments because of accident, sickness or unemployment. But policies can be overpriced and mis-sold, often using high-pressure sales tactics, to people for whom they have little or no value - such as the self-employed., which sells PPI over the phone with loans, failed to gather and record information to show that the policy recommendations it had made were suitable, the FSA said.

And, it added, customers did not receive sufficient information at the point of recommendation to make an informed decision about the PPI policy on offer.

According to the watchdog, as many as 14,400 people were exposed to the risk of buying PPI that was unsuitable for their needs. is the second company in as many months to be hit with a fine over PPI: last month, Regency Mortgage Corporation was fined £56,000 for "PPI failings".

Since agreed to settle its case early, the FSA reduced the penalty by around a third. The company says it has had new practices in place for the past six months, and is contacting customers to offer redress where appropriate.

The £5.5bn PPI market is to be the subject of a full investigation by the Competition Commission after a report by the Office of Fair Trading found it was "failing consumers".

Advertising: Lloyds TSB rapped over mailshot

A "handwritten" promotional leaflet from Lloyds TSB bank has come under fire from the Advertising Standards Authority for misleading the public.

The leaflet was designed to look like a folded hand-written note, and was stamped with the words "chosen by your neighbours". The ASA said recipients could have been misled into thinking the bank's home insurance had been recommended by someone they knew.

It also criticised a similar mailing that resembled post that had been redirected by a neighbour.

It said: "Redirect - I got a great deal on my home insurance with these guys. Just thought you might be interested." According to the ASA, it was not made clear that the leaflets were advertising material.

Lloyds TSB said it had chosen this marketing approach because it believed it was the UK's "number one" home insurance provider - and claimed this meant it was statistically most likely to be insuring the recipient's neighbour. All the leaflets were printed with the Lloyds TSB Insurance logo to make them "readily identifiable". But the bank issued an apology and said it had not intended to mislead people.

It told the ASA it had "no further plans to use the material in its current form".

Pensions: Earnings link 'will be too late' for millions

Hundreds of pensioners marched on Parliament last week to lobby for an increase in the basic state pension.

Members of the National Pensioners Convention (NPC) dressed up as "skeletons" on Wednesday to stress that half a million elderly people die every year, and to demand that the needs of the old are not ignored in the Government's reform of pensions.

Campaigners said up to three million pensioners would die without seeing any benefit from the Government's plans to restore the link between pensions and average earnings. The reform is not scheduled until 2012 at the earliest.

The NPC, which represents more than 1,000 pensioner groups, says this will be too late for many pensioners. It is calling on MPs to reinstate the link with immediate effect. It is also wants the state pension raised from £84.25 to £114 a week.

Joe Harris, general secretary of the NPC, said: "One in five older people live below the poverty line and millions more are being forced into hardship by fuel and council tax bills."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

    £40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

    Neil Pavier: Management Accountant

    £45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...

    Sheridan Maine: Commercial Accountant

    £45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...

    Laura Norton: Project Accountant

    £50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...

    Day In a Page

    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine