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frequently-asked questions

complaints about mortgage endowments

how do I complain about my mortgage endowment?

There is no automatic compensation just because you may be disappointed with how your endowment policy is currently performing. Endowments are linked to long-term investments - which can go down as well as up.

But you might decide to take action by complaining about the advice you were given about the endowment in the first place. There's a simple two-stage process:

stage one

Complain first to the firm that sold you the endowment policy and give them the chance to put things right. If you are not sure who to complain to, get in touch with us on 0300 123 9 123 (8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday).

stage two

If the firm hasn't resolved your complaint within eight weeks - or if you're unhappy with their decision on your complaint - contact us to see if we can help. We will explain any particular rules or restrictions that may apply in your own individual case. You will need to fill in and sign our complaint form. You will also need to fill in our special mortgage endowment questionnaire.

You can print these forms off our website (see below) - or call our helpline on 0300 123 9 123 (Monday to Friday - 8am to 6pm, Saturday - 9am to 1pm).

For more information on complaining about a mortgage endowment, see our consumer factsheet [PDF version opens in new window. ]

is there a deadline for making a complaint?

Yes. There are strict time-limit rules for complaining about mortgage endowments. Financial firms must give customers a clear "final date" for making a complaint. Once this final date has passed, you will be too late to complain – either to the firm or to the ombudsman service – because your complaint will be "time-barred".

do I need to employ someone to handle my mortgage endowment complaint for me?

No. Financial firms have to handle mortgage endowment complaints according to guidelines set out by the financial services regulator. So you should not need any special help or support if you complain.

The ombudsman service is a free and informal way of getting disputes resolved, if you remain unhappy with how a firm has handled your complaint. We decide if a complaint is valid by looking at the facts of the case – and we prefer to hear from you in your own words.

Experience shows that there is no difference in the outcome – whether consumers bring their complaints direct to us themselves, or whether they use a claims-management company (sometimes called a "no win, no fee" agency) to bring the complaint on their behalf. In other words, we are no more or less likely to uphold a complaint referred to us through a claims management company.

If you decide to employ someone to handle your complaint for you – for example, a claims-management company – you'll have to pay their costs yourself. This could mean you paying them part of any compensation you have been awarded.

Since April 2007, claims-management companies have been required by law to be authorised by the Ministry of Justice. Before you deal with any business offering to handle a complaint on your behalf, you should check on the official website that the business is authorised.

do I need to complete your mortgage endowment questionnaire as well as the complaint form?

Yes, you will need to complete our complaint form and our mortgage endowment questionnaire.

Our complaint form is the standard form that everyone has to fill in, to bring a complaint to the ombudsman. It gives us the basic information we need. You can download our complaint form at the bottom of "how to complain".

But for mortgage endowment complaints we need more details. For example, we need to know about your current and previous mortgage arrangements, the endowment policy, and your other savings and investments. Our mortgage endowment questionnaire helps collect all these details from you in one go - so hopefully we won't have to keep asking you questions later on.

In some cases, the financial firm you are complaining about may already have asked you to complete a form that might look similar to our own mortgage endowment questionnaire.

But you will still need to fill in our mortgage endowment questionnaire:

PDF version – opens in new window

Word version – opens in new window