Legal & General fine halved after FSA battle

The Financial Services Authority and Markets Tribunal has slashed the £1.1m penalty imposed on Legal & General (L&G) by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

The Tribunal yesterday, 26 May 2005, reduced the fine imposed on L&G to £575,000 by the FSA in the high-profile case involving the mis-selling of mortgage endowments. However, the Tribunal made no order for costs forcing L&G to foot the £2m legal bill payable to the company’s legal adviser Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

In January the Tribunal cleared L&G of widespread mis-spelling of endowments, providing that only eight out of 152 were mis-sold. In that judgment the Tribunal criticised some of the FSA’s past disciplinary processes and the lack of independence of the RDC. The FSA has subsequently established a top-level Review of its enforcement and disciplinary process, which we welcome.

Commenting on the Tribunal’s decisions an L&G spokesperson said: “The review set up by the FSA is a serious and thorough attempt at establishing a fair process of adjudication and judgement. This is fundamental to the operation of regulation in our sector. We fully support a firm regulatory environment operating in a fair and even-handed manner.”

“L&G is a UK centric company, therefore our investment in this case, was one which we felt compelled to make. We have a very good relationship with the FSA, and we now wish to put this matter behind us, so now its back to business as usual,” added the spokesperson.