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Land of Leather fined for selling insurance without proper staff training


The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has fined furniture retailer Land of Leather £210,000 for allowing its sales force to sell Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) on loans without effective training or monitoring in place to ensure that the insurance was being sold fairly.

The fine against the firm would have been higher, sais the FSA, had Land of Leather not taken a number of positive steps to improve its systems and controls during the period under review, conducting re-training and working to implement a mystery shopper and an after-sales customer contact exercise.

Additionally the FSA has fined Land of Leather’s chief executive Paul Briant £14,000 for failing to properly oversee the sale of PPI by the firm.

The firm became authorised to sell PPI in May 2006, but it did not ensure that all of its sales force were fully trained to sell PPI until November 2006 and it continued to sell PPI in its 90 stores without any effective check on its sales force until February 2007.

FSA director of enforcement Margaret Cole said: "Retail firms whose primary business is not selling general insurance will be held accountable to the same regulatory standards as the rest of the financial services industry."

The FSA has fined Mr Briant even though he knew other senior managers and experienced compliance staff were addressing PPI issues - although the steps they took were ultimately insufficient: delegating authority for dealing with PPI does not mean delegating responsibility says the FSA.


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