Just forge the signature and it will be fine…

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Direct Line and Churchill are two of the UK’s largest and best known insurance brands.

Unfortunately though, despite being in the “premier League” of insurance companies they have been a bit naughty and were recently fined £2.2 million.

The Financial Services Authority (FSA), which amongst other things oversees the insurance industry, told the companies that they would be undertaking a review of their closed complaint cases.

These were files where customers of Direct Line and Churchill had complained and the aim of the FSA was to ensure that the procedures for dealing with these complaints were adhered to.

In preparation for the FSA review the two firms asked a major accountancy firm to do a sample review which found that 28 per cent of the 110 files reviewed failed the assessment.

It seems though that Direct Line and Churchill decided to do their own spot of cleaning up after receiving the accountants report as when the FSA subsequently visited the Firms’ offices at short notice they found that “27 of the 50 files had been altered before they were sent to the FSA, and seven internal documents were found to contain staff signatures forged by one member of staff”.

Not very good is it? The review by the accountancy firm identified the errors and then more than 50% of the files that were sent to the FSA were amended before they were sent and seven documents had forged signatures!

For those of you in the UK that have seen the Churchill TV adverts with Churchill the dog, then I guess the adverts need changing to include the question “Churchill, do you forge signatures?”

The answer of course is “Oh yesssssss”.

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