Prudent priority for Sir Peter

20th June 1997 at 01:00
I note with interest the appointment of Sir Peter Davis, chief executive of the Prudential, by the Government as chairman of the Welfare to Work task force. Furthermore, The TES (Business Links, June 13) reports that Sir Peter is pressing the Government on the case for an enhanced role in education for the independent Basic Skills Agency, a worthy body which Sir Peter is involved with.

Thousands of Prudential customers, including many teachers, were mis-sold personal pensions and are still waiting for compensation years later, with earlier deadlines for ensuring compensation not being met. Furthermore, the Prudential has had to retrain an entire salesforce because of the more recent mis-selling of another type of financial product.

I feel strongly that Sir Peter Davis should concentrate on ensuring Prudential customers, suffering as a result of the personal pension mis-selling scandal, are compensated before he becomes involved in outside public service, no matter how useful to the wider community and personally fulfilling for Sir Peter.

The Prudential and other companies selling personal pension products should not underestimate the degree of legitimate anger felt by individuals knowingly mis-sold inappropriate pension products to their financial detriment. Many, as yet uncompensated, Prudential customers are worried about the provision they are making for their old age because compensation due to them has not, as yet, been paid.

It is galling to hear of Sir Peter Davis wanting to put the world's wrongs to right and offering advice to government, although he is unable to ensure that compensation owed to many individual Prudential customers is paid and this long-standing pensions mis-selling saga brought to an end.

I suggest that he concentrates on getting the Prudential to honour its obligations to its customers who were mis-sold pensions before he becomes involved in external activities.

FRANK SMALL 38 Park Avenue Barking Essex

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