N&P chief defends Keydata advice

Matthew Bullock, the chief executive of the Norwich and Peterborough (N&P) Building Society, has defended the advice given by his staff which saw about 3,500 customers invested in Keydata, following this week’s Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) decision.

Earlier this week, the FOS ruled that N&P must payout a claim for £28,000 relating to its sale of a Keydata Lifemark product. But in an interview with BBC Radio Cambridgeshire yesterday, Bullock defended his advisers’ actions, instead highlighting the ongoing Serious Fraud Office investigation into Keydata. “Our analysis of the product was that it is a very stable product,” he said.

Bullock said Keydata was “run into the ground by the management” and N&P has been left to “pick up the pieces”.

He said: “There are other products of this sort in the market which are performing extraordinarily stably. I wish we had sold those products rather than Keydata products, because people would be very happy with those.”

Bullock admitted that some of the 3,500 affected customers may have been misadvised by N&P staff but said he hoped the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) would award customers up to £50,000 in compensation when it decides whether Lifemark investors can claim next month. But he also said N&P was “not going to run away” from its own responsibilities if the FSCS does not payout. (article continues below)

He said: “We’ll have to sort out those people who think they’ve been misadvised by us and those people we don’t think have been misadvised by us – we’ll need to sort sheep and goats. I’d rather the FSCS stepped in than us try and sort out who we think we’ve mis-sold to.”

An N&P spokeswoman says the mutual will not pay out any individual settlements until the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has made its decision on the relevant Keydata products and the appropriate levels of redress.