Guess when this was?
Paul Flynn, MP for Newport West, had a one-and-a-half hour debate in the Commons on the financial services industry.
He says: "Tens of millions of people have been cheated and bamboozled by commission-hungry salespeople who have mis-sold poor value pensions, mortgages and insurance.
"Although 60% of endowment mortgages will not repay existing mortgages, one in 10 of new mortgages sold now are still endowments. They are good value only for the sellers and a dangerous gamble for buyers. One salesman was quoted saying that he would need to sell 140 stakeholders pensions to earn the commission he gets from selling 14 endowment mortgages.
"The collapse of Enron and the losses of Barings Bank, Allied Irish Banks, the BCCI and Equitable Life have destroyed public confidence. Employees who avoided the losses of personal pensions are now suffering new anxieties as their final salary pensions are replaced by poor value money purchase lotteries."
Flynn continues: "'With profits' policies have now become 'With losses' policies. In their reckless greed the directors and shareholders of failing companies always look after their interests first: the policyholders suffer the losses.
"The public are more likely to be robbed by the financial services industry than by burglars or muggers. The difference is that criminal theft is usually a single event. Robbery by financial institutions continues every week for decades.
"To restore confidence, the government should force the industry to simplify their products, establish a network of genuinely independent financial advice and nurture the good value grassroots Credit Unions."
Flynn went on to say: "It was the unfettered greed of the financial industry that created the misery and anxiety for millions of families who took out endowment policies in the last 15 years. In that time the only interests served by endowments were those of the seller. Huge commissions were taken in the first years of the endowments and many of the sellers are now 'over the hill and far away'.
"Few of the victims of these unscrupulous sales people were warned that their mortgages were a gamble based on the unpredictable variations on the stock exchange. When I first raised this issue over four years ago, there were accusations from the financial industry and the Financial Service Authority that I was being alarmist. It is heart breaking to hear that many families purchased endowments in the period since then.
"Families want safety and as much certainty as possible in securing their homes. Very few would have taken out endowments if they had fully realised the risks involved. Now more than a third of the 6 million endowment mortgage holders have policies that will not fully repay their mortgages. Millions of others rightly feel cheated because the promise of a nest egg at the end of their mortgage period will not now be realised."
He concluded by saying: "The lesson is clear that the public should treat the financial services industry with great suspicion. Many of its activities are commission-driven. Their sales people often over sell or mis-sell products because they're told that it's a case of 'no deal: no meal.' Those who made fortunes selling personal pensions and endowments are now making new killings selling General Insurance and Accident, Sickness and Employment Insurance. These will be the new mis-selling scandals."
The debate was ten years ago on June 16th 2002