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LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's financial watchdog has found no widespread failures by insurers over the level of information given to customers in poorer health about the pensions they were buying, it said on Friday.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) conducted a sector-wide study of sales of so-called enhanced annuities. These policies, a form of pension that pays out until death, typically offer people in poor health higher payouts than standard annuities because policyholders have shorter life expectancy.
"The FCA found ... no evidence of an industry-wide or systemic failure to provide customers with sufficient information about enhanced annuities through non-advised sales," the watchdog said in a statement.
"At a small number of firms the FCA did have concerns when significant communications took place orally, normally over the phone, which was likely to have caused some customers to purchase a standard annuity when they may have been eligible for an enhanced product."
These firms have been told to review all non-advised sales from July 2008 and, where appropriate, provide redress.
"These firms are also being investigated by the FCA's enforcement division to determine whether further action is necessary," the watchdog said.
The FCA's review, which looked at 1,200 non-advised sales at seven firms over seven years to April 2015, checked if insurers were encouraging customers to shop around for better deals.
"Firms, particularly those outside our sample, should look at the report we have published today and consider whether they can make improvements," said Megan Butler, the FCA's director of investment and wholesale supervision.