Mr. Chan bought an education insurance plan at a bank 15 years ago. He wanted to use the money, when the plan matured, to pay for his son’s university tuition fees. This year, his son was admitted to the university and the plan also matured. However, Mr. Chan found out that the amount he could get from the plan was HK$100,000 less than the total premium he had paid over the past 15 years. He felt that the situation was different from what the bank staff had told him. He lodged a written complaint to the bank.
The bank explained that the shortfall between the actual and the expected maturity values was caused by Mr. Chan’s partial cash withdrawal several years ago which subsequently affected the roll-over cash value of the plan. The bank added that the bank staff had already explained all the policy provisions to him at the time of selling and Mr. Chan had signed the relevant documents to acknowledge his understanding of the provisions. Mr. Chan could not resolve the dispute with the bank. He made an application to FDRC for his case to be resolved by mediation.
The mediator helped both parties identify the issues in dispute and assisted them to generate options for settlement. As a gesture of goodwill, the bank offered Mr. Chan a small sum of money to cover part of his son’s tuition fees. Thus, Mr. Chan could pay his son’s tuition fees with the maturity value of the insurance plan and the bank’s offer. Mr. Chan was very happy that the tuition fee problem was resolved and his son could continue his university education. And the bank was pleased to keep the banking relationship with Mr. Chan.
(The case studies are based on actual FDRC cases. Various information including names of claimants, financial institutions and their staff, actual claim and settlement amounts have been altered to protect confidentiality of parties.)