What is an Endowment?

An Endowment is a savings plan designed to mature at the same time as your interest only mortgage. It was designed to provide sufficient funds at maturity to repay your mortgage in full.

There were two main types of Endowments, a With Profits Policy or a more risky Unit Linked Policy where your premiums were invested in stocks and shares.

When the housing market and the stock market boomed in the mid 1980's, interest only mortgages and Endowments were sold in their millions with the expectations that consumers would be left with no capital to pay and a lump sum when the Endowments matured.

However in the mid-1990s it became obvious to millions of people that these expectations were completely overstated and the Endowments were not performing as expected, it became so bad that in the late 1990's the regulator at the time told the Endowment providers to write warning letters to millions of consumers to warn them of the risk of a "shortfall".

Since this ruling from the regulator, millions of people have either complained about their policy or switched to a repayment to avoid being left with a shortfall.

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