Pension victims wait on regulator

The Personal Investment Authority, the financial regulator tasked with ensuring a speedy review by its members into the pensions mis-selling scandal, has yet to contact almost 70,000 "orphan clients" for whom it is responsible.

The clients are former policyholders of independent financial advisers who have gone bust since 1988 or were refused admission into the regulator when it was formed two years later. If an IFA is no longer around, the review is dealt with by the pension unit of the PIA.

The regulator, which has twice fined financial advisers for failing to meet deadlines in the review process, has sent a questionnaire to about 8,000 orphan clients. It expects to send out a further 60,000 questionnaires before the end of the year.

It also emerged yesterday that the PIA board, whose members include both industry and consumer representatives, has rejected a "name and shame" policy suggested by the regulator's chief executive, Colette Bowe. It is believed the policy could have been challenged by many of the firms involved. Some would have disputed the figures and argued that any delays in resolving the problem were not their fault.

Chris Fry, sales and marketing director at Hogg Robinson, a company named as having among the most cases while offering redress to just one person, said: "Hogg Robinson has reviewed thousands of cases. The fact that only in one case has it needed to make a settlement reflects very creditably on the high quality of advice [originally] given."

The delays look set to weaken even further confidence in the PIA's ability to ensure swift compensation for victims.

Two years ago, a report by the Securities and Investments Board, the top City watchdog, suggested up to 1.5 million people may have ben mis- sold a pension. The PIA pledged to deal with urgent cases by last December. Documents obtained by the Independent show that, despite more than 360,000 cases being classed as urgent by the regulator, the 26 companies whose policyholders form the bulk of those affected have offered redress to just 2,500 former clients.

Among those facing delays are up to 800 police officers and scores of firefighters who were wrongly advised to leave their generous occupational schemes.

Even if they were to be offered immediate redress, police and firefighters are barred by law from rejoining theirschemes. The Home Office has drafted a special Bill which must be passed before they can do so.

Robert Wharton, a partner at Ringrose Wharton, the Bristol law firm acting for 500 victims of the mis-selling scandal, said the delays showed many policyholders could obtain a swifter deal if they went to court instead.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
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.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Digital Optimisation Executive - Marketing

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...

Recruitment Genius: Financial Reporting Manager

£70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...

Recruitment Genius: Payments Operations Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...

Recruitment Genius: Telephone Debt Negotiator

£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral