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FCA fines Pru for non-advised annuity sales failings

FCA has fined the Prudential Insurance Company Limited £23,875,000 (including a 30% discount) for failures in its non-advised annuity sales business.

FCA found that, for a 9 year period ending in late 2017, the non-advised annuity business focused on selling annuities directly to Prudential pension holders. It failed to ensure customers were consistently informed that they might get a better deal by shopping around, although it was aware that many would, and failed to take reasonable care to organise and control its affairs in breach of its obligation to ensure fair treatment of customers.  FCA also found failings in the documentation given to call handlers which created a significant risk that the call handlers would not mention the open market option, and in the firm’s monitoring of them. For over half the period, the risks were increased by sales-linked incentives for call handlers and their managers.

The firm agreed to conduct a past business review and has currently offered around £110m in redress to over 17,000 customers.

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Emma Radmore