Consumers&#39 Association welcomes FSA clarification on endowment time limit

The Consumers&#39 Association has written to FSA chairman Howard Davies to welcome clarification on the time limit for consumers.

The organisation warned, however, that further action is required to help the five million consumers who may have been mis-sold.

The FSA has now clarified that green or amber letters will not be taken as the start of the three-year period within which consumers must complain. This means that the clock is ticking for those consumers who have received red reprojection letters but have not yet made a complaint.

It is particularly important for those who received a second red reprojection letter that they make their complaint immediately as they may have only six months to complain.

The CA has asked the FSA to carry out a list of further actions to ensure that all consumers who may have been mis-sold, but have yet to make a complaint, are made aware of what deadline applies to them and have full details on the complaints process.

At present none of the reprojection letters use the terminology red, amber or green nor is it clear what deadline applies to the individual, and the CA has criticised the FSA for using language it deems highly confusing for consumers.

Other actions recommended by CA include a public communication campaign to ensure that all consumers are clear about when the clock starts ticking and how to complain for consumers who have already received their second red reprojection letter.

CA director Sheila McKechnie says: “As we approach the FSA&#39s first anniversary, it is good to see them taking a positive step towards helping consumers who may have been mis-sold endowment mortgages. However, unless consumers are made aware of this new information and provided with full details on complaining, consumer confusion will continue.

“The clock is ticking for many consumers who have yet to complain. Though the responsibility for adequately informing consumers about mis-selling and the complaints process lies with the companies themselves, the FSA has a statutory duty to ensure that companies are providing consumers with clear and unambiguous communication.”