A student was advised by an insurance agent to buy a life insurance policy as a form of savings. He was not told that if he could not continue with the regular savings, he would suffer a loss of a large part of his savings, as the cash value is much less that the premiums paid. As he did not have a regular income, he could not continue to pay the premium and had to suffer a large loss.
The student asked for my views, if the insurance agent is contravening section 27 of the Financial Adviser's Act, as the agent failed to take reasonable steps to make sure that the policy was suitable for the student. How can the policy be suitable, when the student did not have a steady source of income to pay the premium?
I replied that the student had a valid point and asked him to write a statement along the following lines:
a) state what investment product you were recommended to buy and the circumstances in which you were made to invest in the product
b) state why it was not suitable to you
c) state the wordings of section 27 that apply to this infringement
d) state how you have lost on the investment
e) state why you were not aware about the bad recommendation earlier and how you find out about it now.
Another student was sold a similar policy by the marketing officer in the bank. The mother brought up the case to me. She asked how it was possible for the bank officer to determine that the life insurance policy, which also required regular savings to be made over a long period of time, was suitable to a student who did not have a regular source of income?
I wish to call on other students, who had been mis-sold a life insurance policy and was not told about the potential loss of savings, to come forward and write a similar statement.