HomeServe In Record Retail Mis-Selling Fine
Domestic repair insurance firm HomeServe has been hit with the largest fine ever imposed on a retailer.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said the £30.6m penalty was for "serious, systemic and long-running failings".
The FCA said that for six years the company targeted customers in a profit-driven culture.
The fine related to company activity between 2005 and 2011.
HomeServe has already paid £12.9m to customers affected, with the total expected to rise to £16.8m.
FCA director Tracey McDermott said: "HomeServe is another example of a firm that has acted without proper regard for its customers over a long period of time.
"HomeServe promises to provide customers with peace of mind when things go wrong.
"In fact the firm's culture, controls and remuneration structures meant that staff were focused on quantity not quality and there were customers that paid the price for that."
The company temporarily suspended telephone sales and launched a costly review into its marketing and training processes in October 2011 when it was accused of mis-selling policies to customers.
In a statement to Sky News, HomeServe chief executive Richard Harpin said: "We acknowledge the FCA's final notice which brings its investigation to a conclusion.
"We sincerely regret that some customers have been affected by these issues. We have transformed the business, rebuilding and strengthening the management team, retraining staff and restructuring systems and controls.
"We have worked very hard over the last two years to put customers back at the heart of our business and we are committed to offering valuable products with a high quality of service."
The FCA investigation lasted 18 months into the firm that sold insurance for and fixed homeowners' boilers and burst pipes.
Last April, HomeServe was fined £750,000 by telecoms regulator Ofcom for breaching rules on silent and abandoned calls.
The following month, the-then regulator, the Financial Services Authority - later replaced by the FCA - placed it under investigation.
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