Land of leather given £210,000 hiding for PPI abuse

LOSSES & LAWSUITS

LONDON - The UK Financial Services Authority (FSA) has fined furniture retailer Land of Leather £210,000 for allowing its sales staff to inappropriately sell payment protection insurance (PPI). The FSA said Land of Leather lacked effective monitoring or training of its sales staff to ensure the insurance was sold fairly and in line with the FSA's Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) regulatory initiative. The firm's chief executive Paul Briant was fined an additional £14,000 for failing to oversee the sale of PPI within his firm. Briant was fined despite delegating responsibility to other senior managers and experienced compliance staff to address PPI issues, saying "delegating authority for dealing with PPI does not mean delegating responsibility".

The furniture firm was licensed to sell PPI from May 2006 but failed to ensure its sales force were trained in correctly selling the insurance until November 2006 and failed to launch an effective check until February 2007. The firm exposed around 58,000 customers to an unacceptable increased risk of buying unsuitable PPI, with around 8,200 in practice paying for the insurance.

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