Compensation claims success for firm
MILLIONS of pounds of compensation has been paid out to victims of pension mis-selling thanks to an Ipswich firm tackling the issue head on.Experiences Connect, based in Whitehouse Road, has referred some 36,000 customers to a specialist claims company since the business was set up in 2003.
MILLIONS of pounds of compensation has been paid out to victims of pension mis-selling thanks to an Ipswich firm tackling the issue head on.
Experiences Connect, based in Whitehouse Road, has referred some 36,000 customers to a specialist claims company since the business was set up in 2003.
Having begun with just two employees, the firm now has 32 members of staff and has announced ambitious expansion plans to grow the business even further.
Steven Wells, 32, who runs the firm along with childhood friend John Garnham, also 32, said it is exciting times for the business.
He said: “We are really enjoying a lot of success with what we are doing at the moment.
“We contact people who may have been mis-sold endowment mortgages and let them know what we could be able to do for them.
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“A lot of people say we won't be able to help them and there are an awful lot of misconceptions but we can do something with a large percentage of cases.
“We just aim to help as many people as we can.”
Endowment mortgages are a risky way of paying off a mortgage as part of the money being paid off each month is invested in the stock market.
As a result of stock market crashes during the past 20 years, it is estimated more than 80 per cent of all endowment mortgages will end in shortfall.
Many people can be left facing shortfalls of thousands of pounds while on nothing more than a state pension.
Experiences Connect works on the basis that many of the mortgages were mis-sold because the risks of taking out such a policy were not explained properly to the homeowner.
Mr Wells set up the firm four years ago, initially as a marketing and recruiting firm, employing just one part-time employee.
Since then he has been joined by school friend John Garnham and the business really took off after it linked up with EMC Advisory Services - the firm that pursues financial organisations for mis-selling endowment mortgages.
Mr Wells said the company has already turned its hand to helping people claiming back bank charges and is looking to expand into other services as well.
Turnover has already risen from £344,000 in 2005 to £925,000 in 2006 and forecasts for 2007 are £1.4million.
By the end of next month the firm aims to have increased its workforce by between 15 and 20 new members of staff.
Mr Wells said: “Our long-term plans involve developing another four or five types of service including payment protection insurance and issues around pensions.”
In 2003 the government estimated that about eight in 10 of the endowment policies then in force were unlikely to pay off the mortgages they were taken out for.
Since then, nearly 70 per cent of those facing a shortfall have remortgaged, sought financial advice or applied for compensation.
However, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) said that about 700,000 people had still done nothing about their endowment shortfall.