Adviser's dismay over industry ban

AN Ipswich financial adviser has today spoken of his shock following claims he mishandled mortgage endowment complaints.Jonathan Leigh Hardie, who was director at Primedale Financial Services, was last week banned from being a senior manager by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) after allegedly mishandling mortgage endowment complaints over a period of five years.

AN Ipswich financial adviser has today spoken of his shock following claims he mishandled mortgage endowment complaints.

Jonathan Leigh Hardie, who was director at Primedale Financial Services, was last week banned from being a senior manager by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) after allegedly mishandling mortgage endowment complaints over a period of five years.

As reported in The Evening Star, the industry watchdog found that Hardie refused to investigate nearly 400 cases of alleged endowment mis-selling, a situation that can leave people tens of thousands of pounds out of pocket.

Today Mr Hardie said he was disappointed with the FSA's findings claiming the firm received numerous supervision visits from the body and had an “exemplary” record in the administration and running of the business.

In a statement released to The Evening Star Mr Hardie said: “We undertook the endowment complaint review in a diligent and thorough way and were not aware of any problems in this aspect.

“The FSA made a regulatory visit in May 2005 and reported back to us in August 2005 with their findings and illustrated some shortcomings in the handling of endowment complaints.

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“We immediately set about addressing the issues and followed the recommendations set out by the FSA.

“It was somewhat of a surprise that in October 2007 the FSA once again looked into our handling of the endowment complaints.

“As expected they drew the same conclusions as the original supervisory visit and it was as a result of this second investigation that the FSA have taken the action they have.

“No action was taken after the first regulatory visit yet the findings were identical and related to the same period.”

He added that the censure imposed by the FSA reflects on his “ability to supervise and attend to compliance matters” rather than his ability to act as an adviser.

The decision against Jonathan Hardie does not affect Primedale Residential Ltd, which has a separate estate agency and financial advisory business in the Ipswich area.

Have you ever made a mortgage endowment complaint? Contact The Evening Star newsdesk on 01473 324788 or e-mail starnews @eveningstar.co.uk.