DISP App 1.4 Policy reconstruction

DISP App 1.4.1G

This section of this appendix is primarily concerned with circumstances where the term of the mortgage and associated endowment policy extend beyond the individual complainant's normal retirement age in circumstances where the firm regards a complaint as justified because the arrangement is not affordable in retirement; and this could have, and should have, been foreseen at the time of the advice.12

12
DISP App 1.4.2G

12Two sets of circumstances are examined at DISP App 1.4.3 G to DISP App 1.4.13 G. Although these are considered in isolation, firms should, as part of their investigation of all of the factors involved in the complaint, consider whether either set of circumstances should be considered in conjunction with those factors examined at DISP App 1.2.

Case 1

DISP App 1.4.3G

If on enquiry it is found that no proper assessment of the complainant's post-retirement means had been undertaken at the time of sale, but if the likelihood had been that the complainant would have borrowed the same amount over a shorter term (up to retirement) using an endowment policy as a repayment vehicle, then an appropriate form of redress would be for the policy to be reconstructed with a shorter term.

DISP App 1.4.4G

12Redress should in most cases be provided by meeting the cost of rearranging the policy, by way of a lump sum payment into the policy in respect of the higher rate of premium due from its inception. It may be appropriate in individual cases to take account of the lower premiums that the complainant will have paid to date. The guidance in DISP App 1.2, as to the circumstances in which this will be appropriate, will be relevant here.

DISP App 1.4.5G

12If the policy extends beyond retirement age and the complainant is already retired, the policy should be reconstructed to a maturity date as at the accepted retirement date, with the policy proceeds becoming immediately payable. The costs are to be borne by the firm, subject to any lower outgoings adjustment.

DISP App 1.4.6G

12Firms should consider whether the reconstruction would have tax implications for complainants (see DISP App 1.5.8 G and DISP App 1.5.9 G).

DISP App 1.4.7G

12The reconstruction process deals with the situation to the date the policy is reconstructed. The complainant will generally be responsible for paying the increased premiums for the remaining term.

DISP App 1.4.8G

12At the time the complainant is advised of the revised premium, he should as a matter of good practice be provided with a reprojection based on the prevailing projection rates, which will allow him to address any projected shortfall.

DISP App 1.4.9G

12If it is not possible for a firm to reconstruct a policy, then it should offer the investor equivalent redress, for example, by paying a cash lump sum equivalent to the amount that would have been credited to a reconstructed policy.

Case 2

DISP App 1.4.10G

12If a loan extending into retirement was on any basis not affordable, whether or not it is reconstructed to the retirement date, firms will need to consider whether, if proper advice had been given, the loan would have been taken out at all and, if not, consider what arrangements might now need to be made in order to reduce the amount of the complainant's borrowings.

Mismatched loans and policy terms

DISP App 1.4.11G

12If a complaint is regarded as justified by the firm on the basis that the endowment policy maturity date extends beyond the mortgage term expiry date and the firm is responsible for this situation, the policy should be reconstructed so that it matures at the expiry of the mortgage term.

DISP App 1.4.12G

12In these circumstances the guidance given elsewhere in DISP App 1.4 will apply as appropriate.

Examples

DISP App 1.4.13G

12The following examples illustrate the approach to redress as described in this section.

DISP App 1.4.14G

12Example 8

Example 8

Term extends beyond retirement age and policy reconstruction

Background

45 year old male non-smoker, having taken out a £50,000 loan in 1998 for a term of 25 years. Unsuitable sale identified on the grounds of affordability and complaint raised on 12th policy anniversary.

It has always been the intention of the complainant to retire at State retirement age 65.

Term from date of sale to retirement is 20 years and the maturity date of the mortgage is 5 years after retirement.

Established facts

Established premium paid by investor on policy of original term (25 years):

£81.20

Premium that would have been payable on policy with term from sale to retirement (20 years):

£111.20

Actual policy value at time complaint assessed:

£12,500

Value of an equivalent 20-year policy at time complaint assessed:

£21,300

Difference in policy values at time complaint assessed:

£8,800

Difference in outgoings (20 year policy - 25 year policy):

£4,320

Basis of compensation

The policy is reconstructed as if it had been set up originally on a term to mature at retirement age, in this example, a term of 20 years. The difference in the current value of the policy actually sold to the complainant and the current value of the reconstructed policy, as if the premium on the reconstructed policy had been paid from outset, is calculated. The complainant has gained from lower outgoings (lower premiums) of the actual endowment policy to date. In calculating the redress, the gain may be offset against the loss unless the complainant's particular circumstances are such that it would be unreasonable to take account of the gain.

Redress generally if it is not unreasonable to take account of the whole of the gain from lower outgoings

Loss from current value of reconstructed policy less current value of actual policy:

(£8,800)

Gain from total lower outgoings under actual policy:

£4,320

Net loss:

(£4,480)

Therefore total redress is:

£4,480

Redress if it is unreasonable to take account of gain from lower outgoings

Loss from current value of reconstructed policy less current value of actual policy:

(£8,800)

Gain from total lower outgoings under actual policy:

Ignored

Therefore total redress is:

£8,800

Additional Information

If the policy is capable of reconstruction, the complainant must now fund the higher premiums himself for the remainder of the term of the shortened policy until maturity. In this example the higher premium could be £111.20. However the firm should provide the complainant with a reprojection letter based on the reconstructed policy such that the actual monthly payment required to achieve the target sum could be even higher, say £130. The reprojection letter should set out the range of options facing the complainant to deal with the projected shortfall, if any.

DISP App 1.4.15G

12Example 9

Example 9

Term extends beyond retirement age: example of failure to explain investment risks

Background

45 year old male non-smoker, having taken out a £50,000 loan in 1998 for a term of 25 years. Unsuitable sale identified on the grounds of affordability and complaint raised on 12th anniversary.

It has always been the intention of the complainant to retire at state retirement age 65.

Term from date of sale to retirement is 20 years and the maturity date of the mortgage is five years after retirement.

In addition, an endowment does not meet the complainant's attitude to investment risk and a repayment mortgage would have been taken out if properly advised.

Established facts

Surrender value (on the 25 year policy) at time complaint assessed:

£12,500

Capital repaid under repayment mortgage of term to retirement date (20 years):

£21,000

Surrender value less capital repaid:

(£8.500)

Difference in outgoings (repayment - endowment):

£5,400

Cost of converting from endowment mortgage to repayment mortgage:

£200

Basis of compensation:

The surrender value of the (25 year term) endowment policy is compared to the capital that would have been repaid to date under a repayment mortgage arranged to repay the loan at retirement age, in this example, a repayment mortgage for a term of 20 years. The complainant has gained from lower outgoings of the endowment mortgage to date. In calculating the redress, the gain may be offset against the loss unless the complainant's particular circumstances are such that it would be unreasonable to take account of the gain. The conversion costs are also taken into account in calculating the redress.

Redress generally

Loss from surrender value less capital repaid:

(£8,500)

Gain from total lower outgoings under endowment mortgage:

£5,400

Cost of converting to a repayment mortgage:

(£200)

Net loss:

(£3,300)

Therefore total redress is:

£3,300

Redress if it is unreasonable to take account of gain from lower outgoings

Loss from surrender value less capital repaid:

(£8,500)

Gain from total lower outgoings under endowment mortgage:

Ignored

Cost of converting to a repayment mortgage:

(£8,700)

Therefore total redress is:

£8,700