British regulator fines lender £1.4 million

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Britain's financial regulator said Monday it had fined British lender Norwich and Peterborough Building Society £1.4 million after it mis-sold investment products in a firm that eventually collapsed.

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) said it had imposed a fine equivalent to 1.6 million euros or $2.3 million, while N&P has agreed to pay £51 million to customers affected by the collapse of Keydata Investment Services.

"N&P failed in its basic duty to provide suitable advice to its customers despite an internal compliance report pointing out that there were problems as early as 2007," said Tracey McDermott, FSA acting director for enforcement and financial crime.

"Firms cannot treat customers fairly unless they pay attention to their financial circumstances and attitude to risk when they make recommendations. This is the only way to prevent widespread mis-selling like this," McDermott added in a statement.

The watchdog found N&P had failed to properly assess the financial circumstances of many of its customers, who were either approaching retirement or had already stopped working and who lost savings.

© 2011 AFP

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