Today, 29/08/17 despite pressure from consumer groups, the Financial Conduct Authority confirmed that it will introduce a deadline for making new payment protection insurance (PPI) complaints. It is quite ridiculous that this deadline should be introduced, the only benefit is for the financial institutions! Although the FCA has told them to contact customers regarding PPI, many have failed to do so and the onus is on the consumer to contact the company.
Millions of us are contacted on a daily basis from Claims Management Companies trying to get their hands on a large percentage of what we may or may not be owed. But despite this, it is estimated that there are billions more to be claimed. In fact the FCA says that over half have yet to claim but has imposed this deadline. Claims have been made since 2011, that’s 6 years and yet they expect more than 6 years of claims to be made in two years? Plus the additional claims which have already been dealt with due to the Plevin case. That issue of 2 versus 6 years alone begs many questions! See the FCA figures for amounts claimed in each of the last 6 years.
What exactly is PPI?
Payment Protection Insurance. When you took out a loan or a mortgage or similar you may have been sold it alongside the agreement. It would, in theory pay out if you were unable to make the payments.
What makes a mis-sold PPI?
1) If you were told that you had to have it (you didn’t) to take out the loan
2) It has been added without your knowledge
3) Sold the wrong cover, e.g. something to which you didn’t agree, single policy instead of joint, you already had cover with another product/through work etc
4) If you were self, employed, retired or unemployed and were sold unemployment cover which would have been useless to you
5) You had pre existing medical conditions and the cover made you exempt
6) If your provider has already been fined for not acting fairly it is likely that you will have a case.
Supreme Court judgment in Plevin v Paragon Personal Finance Ltd (Plevin)
The Plevin decision means that consumers may have new grounds to complain about PPI regarding the amount of money that the providers received for the sale if the commission was undisclosed and made the relationship unfair.
Failure to disclose commission gave rise to an unfair relationship. Over 50% and firms should calculate redress as the excess commission over this 50%.
The FCA requires all firms to write to previously rejected complainants who are eligible to complain in light of Plevin in order to explain the new basis for complaining to them. Consumers with live PPI policies will now be able to complain after the deadline if they have a future claim on their policy rejected for reasons related to the sale. The complaint must be related to the reason the claim was rejected, for example, eligibility, exclusions or limitations.
Finding out if you had PPI
Look at all your loan agreements. See if there is any mention of PPI. Insurance, benefits, protection plan, etc. If so, look through and see if you think you were mis sold. Although there are calls to make finance companies inform all customers of their PPI agreements, they aren’t doing so. If you can’t find the paperwork and don’t know if you had PPI, don’t despair! Write to the company and ask for a copy of your agreement. Ask for the terms and conditions which were relevant at the time as these may have changed and it’s what they were at the time of agreement that matters. You may have to pay £1 for existing accounts and £10 for closed accounts.
You can also check your credit history which will tell you of any accounts which were live in the last 6 years.
How to claim
Don’t use a Claims Management Company there really isn’t a need and they can’t do anything more than you but will take a hefty chunk of what you are owed. Write to the finance company giving the account details, and any other information such as when it was taken out, different address etc.
Explain how you believe you have been mis sold with as much evidence as possible to strengthen your case.
Should you not be satisfied with the decision you can take the matter to the Financial Ombudsman which is currently overturning 54% of cases in favour of the consumer.
More on the FCA website regarding claiming for PPI refunds
For help in most complaint scenarios see How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS! for guidance, tips, advice, laws and template letters for all you need to know in getting redress!