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PPI Complaint numbers see signs of drop, FCA Figures show.

20th April 2014. In the second half of 2013 there were 1.39 million new compalints about the sale of PPI loan insurance, this is a FALL of 22% compared to the previous 6 months.

The FCA confirmed there were 2.48 million new complaints made to financial services companies in the same time frame which was down 15%. Payment Protection Insurances complaints accounted for 56% of this figure, however this is down from 62% in the first part of the year.

There were above 2 million complaints about PPI in the second part of 2012, so this has dropped significantly since then. Source

PPI mis-selling: How you could be entitled to MORE money even if you've already been paid compensation

6th April 2014. People who have already had a pay-out after being mis-sold Payment Protection Insurances may have been short changed. Customers who have received payments from Lloyds banking group, which includes Halifax, Black Horse, Barclays, RBS and NAtwest, could be entitled to more.

There is a loophole that banks have taken advantage of called "alternative redress". This applied to customers who bought single premium polices, paying upfront for the insurance and adding it to the loan. The banks have been deducting the cost of a cheaper regular premium policy from the pay out, instead of returning all the customers money. This means they were acting as though they sold the wrong type of insurances rather than completely mis-selling.

Providers are able to offer alternative redress under the FCA's rules, however they must do so fairly.

Where the banks have made an assumption about whether the customer bought the cheaper option or not, this is unlikely to be classed as fair.

If you received a pay-out from the following banks during the relevent periods an your offer letter contained the words "alternative redress" or "comparative redress" you may have a claim.

- Lloyds banking group - since Feb 2013
- Barclays - between Oct 2012 and Oct 2013
- RBS/Natwest - Since early 2013

You can state that you would not have purchased a cheaper policy if you had been given the opportunity at the time, this will dramatically increase your chances in having a claim. Source

Lloyds are accused of short-changing PPI claimants

28th March 2014. Lloyds says it offers the correct level of compensation in line with regulatory guidance A BBC investigation has revealed that Lloyds has been accused of reducing the compensation it pays to payment protection insurance (PPI) claimants. A PPI expert told the BBC that Lloyds has saved over £60m in 2013 alone by cutting compensation. Source

FCA using psychological insight to crack down on poor financial products and services

30th January 2014. The Financial Conduct Authority's research on behavioural economics revealed that snap financial judgements made by consumers leads firms to compete in a way that is not on the interest of the customer.

The groundbreaking research, which was carried out last year, aimed to gain insights to identify problems before they reach the scale of the payment protection insurance (PPI) scandal, which has so far forced banks to set aside over £18bn to compensate affected customers. It also sought to understand why consumers sometimes make poor financial decisions and how these mistakes can be predicted. The FCA is relying heavily on research by Daniel Kahneman, 2002 Nobel Prize winner for his contribution to economic science and Princeton University professor. His research states we have two ways of thinking - snap judgements for simple actions and reasoning to reach a verdict. However, people often use snap judgements by default as it takes time and energy to apply reason - sometimes leading to thoughtless biases. This means that rather than setting aside time to conduct research into their financial decisions, vulnerable consumers - particularly those who lack financial insight - can be easily rushed into quick decisions by salespeople.

FCA chief executive Martin Wheatley said: "Some errors made by consumers are persistent and predictable. This raises the prospect of firms designing business models that do not focus on competing on price and quality. Behaviour economics enables regulators to intervene in markets more effectively." Source

How is the FCA using behavioural economics to protect vulnerable consumers?

7th January 2014. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has been taking a new approach to cracking down on bad practices within the finance and banking sector, with the regulator leaning on behavioural economics to enforce new policies and rebuild trust. FCA chief executive Martin Wheatley said that behavioural economics "enables regulators to intervene in markets more effectively". Since it takes time and energy to apply reason in order to reach a verdict, vulnerable consumers - for example those lacking financial awareness - are often easily pushed into quick decisions by salespeople. This has led some firms to compete in a way that is not in the interest of consumers.

Mr Wheatley said: "Some errors made by consumers are persistent and predictable. This raises the prospect of firms designing business models that do not focus on competing on price and quality." But how is the FCA actually putting the findings of their behavioural economics research into practice?

Looking out for the customer's interests

The FCA has begun checking the words and headlines employed in sales documents to prevent marketing bias, and are checking product sales to prevent consumers falling victim to over-enthusiastic marketers. The body is keeping an eye on incentives used to promote products, for example the payment protection insurance (PPI) scandal was exacerbated by providers linking policies to cheap mortgages.

Crackdowns on badly structured incentive payments have got underway and sales commissions are also being tackled. It has also levied fines on a number of organisations, including Lloyds Bank for inappropriately incentivising advisers - salespeople were encouraged to sell products by being threatened with a salary reduction if they failed to meet targets. Source

Rebuilding public trust in banks is a "massive challenge" that could take up to 10 years

6th January 2014. The chief executive of Barclays has stated his intention of ensuring the bank is more trusted than not by 2018, after admitting that it could take up to a decade to rebuild the public's trust following a series of financial scandals.

Speaking to students at Brooke House Sixth Form College in Clapton, east London, which featured on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Antony Jenkins said he was setting a target for Barclays to be more trusted than not by 2018 - the reverse of which is true now, according to the bank's own research.

However, after admitting scandals such as Libor fixing and payment protection insurance (PPI) rocked the industry, Mr Jenkins said it could take as long as 10 years to repair the long-term damage done to the bank's reputation.

He commented: "Trust is a very easy thing to lose, and a very hard thing to win back. In my view it will takes several years - probably five to 10 - to rebuild trust in Barclays. I can only be responsible for Barclays but I'm hoping in what we do at Barclays we can also rebuild trust in banking."

Culture will take a 'very long time' to turn around

Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury and a member of the parliamentary commission on banking standards, also participated in the Today programme. He said: "People like Antony [Jenkins] are dealing with the impact of 30 years, in which there was strong pressure to go in one direction, which was about maximising shareholder return and a progressive loss of vision as to what banks were for in society.

"The challenge for leadership is to change that culture, that says we are not here just for ourselves, we are here for the whole of society, and that is a massive, massive challenge and will take a very long time to turn around. Barclays are working very hard at it and the major banks are working very hard at it." Source

Lloyds fined £4.3mn for delaying PPI compensation by up to 6 months

20th December 2013. The fines just keep coming for Lloyds and the latest in the series is a £4.3mn penalty for payment protection insurance compensation systems that "fell well below standard".

Three Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) firms - Lloyds TSB Bank Plc, Lloyds TSB Scotland Plc and Bank of Scotland - have been fined £4,315,000 for failings in their systems and controls that left thousands of customers waiting up to six months for overdue PPI redress. LBG agreed to pay redress to PPI complainants in 582,206 decision letters between May 2011 and March 2012, but not all customers were compensated within the 28 day time frame stipulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) - now the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Nearly a quarter of customers (140,209) received compensation after 28 days. Around 87,000 customers waited over 45 days, 56,000 over 60 days, 29,000 over 90 days and 8,800 over six months.

What's more, LBG was not able to fast-track payments to customers who phoned to enquire after the whereabouts of their compensation. The same deficiencies in its system meant that it was also unable to explain why the payment had been delayed or when it would be made. Tracey McDermott, the FCA's director of enforcement and financial crime, said: "The industry let customers down badly in relation to the sale of PPI. The significant volume of complaints is a product of LBG's own failings and the least customers can now expect is that redress, when it is due, will be paid promptly.

"All regulated firms must treat those who complain fairly and that includes paying redress promptly when it is due." She added that PPI is a "continuing area of focus" as the scandal continues to dominate the headlines. Source

Mis-sold financial products to bump up banks' legal costs by 30% in 2014

9th December 2013. The cost of mis-selling products such as payment protection insurance (PPI) is one of the main drivers of banks' anticipated rise in litigation costs. UK banks have already spent an extra 60% on litigation costs in the last 12 months, but according to Legal Business they are expected to rise by another 30% in the coming year. The expected rise in litigation costs is being attributed to mis-selling costs and regulatory investigations, the report said.

It also pointed to the economic crisis as a contributing factor, with 84% of respondents saying they have had to increase legal budgets as a result. The study noted that increased coordination between regulators in different countries will also bump up legal costs for banks. A series of financial scandals including the Libor-fixing case have attracted the attention of regulators from the UK, Europe, the US and Japan.

PPI costs rise despite fall in claims

The PPI mis-selling scandal, which is expected to be the biggest financial crisis in Britain's history, has seen UK banks and financial institutions fork out billions of pounds to foot the compensation bill. PPI is a type of insurance designed to cover loan repayments if the borrower suddenly cannot work. However, it was widely mis-sold to people who did not need it or were ineligible to make a claim. So far the bill stands at over £18bn. Banks continue to set aside funds despite reports that the PPI scandal has reached its peak - Barclays recently closed down a claims processing centre in Glasgow. Source

Was the economic recovery revealed in the Autumn Statement partially down to PPI compensation?

9th December 2013. The Chancellor presented his eagerly awaited Autumn Statement to Parliament last week, citing positive growth forecasts and describing how the government will continue to support families, help businesses, equip young people with essential skills and secure public finances. The Statement revealed that the economy is currently growing faster than predicted, with growth forecasts in 2013 upgraded from 0.6% to 1.4%. The predictions for next year are similarly optimistic, having been upgraded from 1.8% to 2.4%. As a result, borrowing is set to fall, with this year's total already £9bn less than predicted in March, standing at £111bn. The country is set to borrow £73bn less over the period or £2,500 per household. However, the managing director of Teesside-based automotive parts manufacturer ElringKlinger (GB), Ian Malcolm, has suggested that the foundations of this recovery are unsustainable.

He said: "In terms of growth...there's a feeling that things are getting better. "But I have a view that this is a PPI-led recovery. An awful lot of people are getting cheques in their hands - that's free money to them. It is unsustainable." So far UK banks and financial institutions have set aside over £18bn to compensate those who were mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI) in what is expected to be Britain's biggest consumer finance scandal. PPI compensation payouts average £2,750 per person and reports show that the cash boost has also helped to send the new car market into overdrive. Source 1, Source 2, Source 3, Source 4

Is the MoJ the best organisation to crack down on PPI claims management firms?

27th November 2013. Chief executives have questioned whether the new powers to fine payment protection insurance (PPI) claims management companies will be most effective in the hands of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). An amendment to the Financial Services Bill means that from next year it will be illegal to exploit information collected through unsolicited calls and text messages - but some believe the powers would be put to better use elsewhere. While Association of Mortgage Intermediaries chief executive Robert Sinclair welcomed the MoJ's recognition that action needs to be taken to deal with rogue claims management companies (CMCs), he believes the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) should be at the helm.

He said that the FCA has the necessary staff resources to address the problem and regulate claims firms. "The MoJ is still struggling to provide the people capacity that is needed to deal with the poor conduct we see from some claims firms," he said. He stressed that the way claims firms are regulated "does not extend to holding sufficient capital" and indicated the money may not be available to meet hefty fines. "Therefore, the money may have gone out of the firm before any fine arrives. We are concerned that while the MoJ can levy fines, will there be enough money to meet large fines, and if not, that means there will be less money to invest in enforcement," he continued. Trinity Financial product and communications manager Aaron Strutt also voiced concerns, saying: "It is good news the MoJ has more powers to tackle the issue, but it might be quite hard to target all of them. "I imagine the regulator will have to impose some large fines to send out a sufficient warning to other companies that they will need to start cleaning up their act." Source

New MoJ power to fine rogue CMCs welcomed by brokers

26th November 2013. The new powers granted to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to fine payment protection insurance (PPI) claims management firms providing a poor service have been welcomed by brokers. Brokers have said the new powers are long overdue and that they will drastically reduce the amount of time spent dealing with "spurious" claims. Under current regulations, the MoJ only has the power to take enforcement action against companies with substandard practices. However, a new clause included in an amendment to the Financial Services (Banking Reform) Bill makes it illegal for claims management companies (CMCs) to exploit information gathered through unsolicited calls and texts. Most CMCs operate in an ethical fashion - but now any that forgo the new regulations or that provide a bad service will face hefty fines from next year.

Ray Boulger, senior technical manager at independent mortgage experts John Charcol, said: "If this curtails some of the worst abuses in the CMC sector, that clearly will be helpful to brokers in terms of not having to deal with these spurious claims. "The effect will be that brokers should have less instances where they are having to deal with these ambulance-chasers. This is not before its time." Mortgage Centre IFA director Fahim Antoniades agreed the changes will "get the monkey off brokers' backs". However, he suggested that action could have been taken sooner to clamp down on rogue CMCs. "If the Ministry of Justice had been more pro-active, it would have put a stop to this before it all got to this stage," he added. Source 1, Source 2, Source 3, Source 4

Barclays cuts jobs as volume of PPI claims takes a tumble

25th November 2013. Barclays' decision not to renew the lease on the site of its Glasgow payment protection insurance (PPI) claims office will leave 244 people without a job. The falling volume of PPI claims combined with the fact that the lease on the site is due to expire next year prompted the decision not to negotiate a new lease. The move affects 137 full-time and 107 temporary staff, who will be left without a job when the Glasgow office is shut down in March 2014. The bank said that ongoing PPI claims would be handled at other centres around the UK.

Centre has 'fulfilled' its role

A spokesman for Barclays said: "In the last three years, Barclays has invested significantly in resolving PPI cases, including a designated centre in Glasgow. "Over recent months, the volume of PPI cases has fallen and this reduction means the centre's role has been fulfilled, with further PPI cases to be managed through existing support centres. "The lease on this Glasgow site also expires in 2014 and would require a multi-year commitment. Having evaluated all the possible options, we made the decision not to negotiate a new lease." The bank added that it will be working with all affected members of staff to provide access to support and services required, including "possible redeployment options". However, the Unite union said that workers would feel "angry" and "betrayed" by the imminent closure. The union's national officer Dominic Hook said: "Barclays has a duty to the workforce and it must leave no stone unturned in its search to find alternatives to redundancies." Source

Hefty fines on the way for unethical PPI claims management companies

19th November 2013. Powers granted to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) mean that payment protection insurance (PPI) claims management firms who bombard the public with unsolicited phone calls and texts will face hefty fines from next year. In a bid to clamp down on the enormous volume of nuisance calls received by people every day encouraging them to file claims about mis-sold PPI, a new clause has been inserted into the Financial Services (Banking Reform) Bill this week making it illegal to exploit information obtained through cold calls - even if it is genuine. The joint initiative by the MoJ and the Treasury will impose fines on companies that use information gathered by unsolicited calls and texts or that provide a bad service. A consultation on the maximum level of fines is yet to take place.

The justice minister, Shailesh Vara, said: "We will not tolerate companies which waste hardworking people's time and money through their own laziness, incompetence or frankly dubious practices. "We are already making sure rogue companies are shut down - and now we are ensuring those who are wasting everyone's time will pay for it." The MoJ says that its interventions have already resulted in a drop in the number of CMCs operating from 3,400 in 2011 to 2,300 today. While the majority of the remaining PPI claims management companies (CMCs) operate in an ethical fashion, some slip through the net and seek to drum up business via unwanted phone calls. CMCs will still be permitted to contact potential customers through advertising, on the condition it meets standards set out by the Claims Management Regulator. The number of enforcement staff at the MoJ's Claims Management Regulation Unit is being boosted in preparation for next year. Source 1, Source 2, Source 3

Chief financial ombudsman Natalie Ceeney steps down after one million PPI complaints

18th November 2013. As the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) deals with its one millionth payment protection insurance (PPI) complaint, chief ombudsman Natalie Ceeney has announced she is resigning from her role. Ms Ceeney has spent almost four years tackling UK banks' poor complaints handling processes when it comes to compensating - or not - customers who have been mis-sold PPI. She will be temporarily replaced by deputy chief ombudsman Tony Boorman, who will head up the service until further notice.

Nicholas Montagu, chairman of the ombudsman, said: "Having just received our millionth new PPI complaint, Natalie feels that now is the time for her to move on - as the ombudsman service itself starts out on a new set of challenges, building on the foundations for change laid under Natalie's leadership." Complaints brought to the FOS after banks turned customers away have increased steadily by the quarter, rising from 32,000 in Q2 2012 to 132,000 in Q2 2013.

While the volume of complaints remains on an enormous scale, the figures reveal the peak was reached in Q4 2012, when 145,000 new complaints were brought to the FOS. Grievances are expected to continue to fall over the coming months, although the ombudsman warned in July the volumes are still "huge". The ongoing PPI scandal - expected to be the biggest consumer finance scandal ever - has seen the ombudsman treble in size in order to accommodate thousands upon thousands of complaints, many of which were valid but had been rejected by the banks. Source

Sir Hector Sants quits clean-up role at Barclays after being signed off for stress

18th November 2013. It seems picking up the pieces in the aftermath of the various financial scandals plaguing the UK's banking sector has taken its toll on those in high profile positions. Sir Hector Sants, who joined Barclays last year as part of chief executive Antony Jenkins' plan to restore the bank's reputation, has quit his role just weeks after being signed off with stress and exhaustion. Barclays said in a statement: "Hector Sants has been on sick leave since the beginning of October, suffering from stress and exhaustion.

"He has concluded that he will not be able to return to work in the near term. Consequently he has decided to resign from Barclays and not return from sick leave." Sants, 57, was hired to clean up Barclays' image and transform it into the 'go to' bank following its £291mn fine for its part in the Libor rigging scandal. The bank has also set aside £4bn to compensate customers who were mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI) and a regulatory inquiry is being made into foreign exchange trading.

This follows the news from the end of last week that chief ombudsman Natalie Ceeney is stepping down from her role as head of the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) as the organisation handles its one-millionth complaint. Along with a number of other UK banks, Barclays has played a leading role in rejecting customers' PPI claims, forcing them to take these to the FOS. Source 1, Source 2, Source 3

Total PPI compensation bill set to exceed £20bn

13th November 2013. Banks and financial institutions across the country are already footing a whopping £17bn bill to compensate customers who were mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI), but estimates show that the overall total could be in excess of £20bn. The scale of the scandal, which is estimated to be the biggest of its kind in history, has been laid bare over the past few years, with the volume of complaints soaring to unprecedented levels and banks continuing to top up their PPI compensation funds.

Lloyds alone has set aside almost half of the estimated total compensation pot. It announced plans to add another £750mn in its third quarter financial results, taking their share up to a staggering £8bn. RBS has also made extra provisions of £250mn, taking the bank's total PPI compensation funds up to £2.6bn. For this reason and the torrent of complaints that continue to flood banks, financial institutions and the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), it is now a certainty that the total bill will surpass the £20bn mark.

To put this into perspective, this is equivalent to more than £500 for every man and woman of working age in the UK. The figures surrounding the country-wide scandal continue to climb despite reports that it has reached its peak. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published figures a few weeks ago that suggested the worst was over and Lloyds stated in its third quarter financial results that complaint volumes were starting to tail off. However, the bank still received an average of 11,000 complaints a week over the three month period and PPI provisions continue to surprise analysts. Source 1, Source 2, Source 3, Source 4

RBS injects £250mn into PPI compensation fund

12th November 2013. The payment protection insurance (PPI) compensation pot continues to grow as the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) announce they have added another £250mn to foot the bill following the country-wide financial scandal. This means that the bank's total PPI provisions to compensate those mis-sold the insurance now stands at £2.6bn, a significant proportion of the £16bn set aside by the banks for this purpose. The announcement came as RBS announced its third quarter financial results. £1.9bn of the snowballing bill had already been paid out as compensation to affected customers as of 30 September 2013.

Prior to the £250mn injection, the bank said that £2.3bn of the total PPI compensation fund went towards redress while £300mn went on administrative expenses. "The remaining provision provides coverage for approximately 10 months for redress and administrative expenses, based on the current average monthly utilisation," said RBS in a statement. The bank also hinted the compensation bill could increase even further, saying: "There are uncertainties as to the eventual cost of redress which will depend on actual complaint volumes, take up and uphold rates and average redress costs.

"Assumptions relating to these are inherently uncertain and the ultimate financial impact may be different than the amount provided. The group will continue to monitor the position closely and refresh its assumptions." This follows an announcement by Lloyds Banking Group that they have set aside an extra £750mn for the PPI compensation pot, pushing their total share of the £16bn bill up to a staggering £8bn. Source 1, Source 2, Source 3, Source 4

Lloyds Bank hoists up PPI compensation bill once again

11th November 2013. UK banks have set aside a whopping £16bn to compensate customers sold payment protection insurance (PPI) that they either did not need or were not eligible to claim on. Accounting for half of this billion pound bill is Lloyds Bank, whose recent decision to set aside £750mn more for the PPI compensation pot has driven their total share up to £8bn. The bank, which is still part-owned by the taxpayer, made the announcement as it reported its third-quarter results. Footing the vast PPI bill had a palpable impact on the bank's third-quarter profit figure, leaving Lloyds facing a loss of £440mn for the three months to the end of September.

Lloyds Banking Group also pointed the finger at a £330mn charge against losses incurred selling its German life insurer Heidelberger Leben in August, which it did in a bid to meet stricter regulatory requirements. The group's profits for the nine months to the end of September were £1.69bn.

A 'better, simpler bank' in the making?

Mirroring consumer trust in the organisation following its most recent announcement, shares in Lloyds plummeted by 3.5% as markers opened. However, chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio stressed that the bank is undergoing a radical overhaul to boost its customer service and reputation. He commented: "We are well on our way to becoming a better, simpler, low-risk bank, which delivers the products our customers need and the strong performance and sustainable returns our shareholders expect." But with Lloyds setting aside more than any other financial institution for the widely publicised PPI scandal, the bank seemingly has quite some way to go. Source

PPI and Libor scandals pushing financial services towards a "fairer system"

29th October 2013. The chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said at a recent conference that financial firms should "do the right thing" whether the regulators were watching or not. Speaking at the London-based British Bankers' Association Annual International Conference, Martin Wheatley argued that the industry was moving towards a "fairer system" in the aftermath of various scandals such as PPI and Libor. The regulatory system is beginning to place "far more emphasis on good judgement and less on narrow compliance within a set of rules", he stated. He said: "The dominant theme of 21st century financial services is fast turning out to be a complicated question of fairness." He added that the industry needs to react to the public's distrust of the financial services industry - something which was highlighted in a recent survey.

In a Populus poll conducted over the weekend, banks scored a positive rating of just 39 out of 100. Tobacco and payday loan companies as well as energy firms also ranked poorly.

Looking ahead

Mr Wheatley also stressed that the industry needs to look ahead more effectively in order to prevent similar scandals and financial crises in the future, stating that issues must be anticipated before they turn into multi-billion pound problems. Jason Witcombe, director at London-based Evolve Financial Planning, welcomed his observations. He said: "The forward-looking approach that he stressed would be very welcome, as perhaps this has not been as it should have been in the past." He added that Mr Wheatley's suggestion regarding "monitoring of unusual revenue patterns would also be a good thing". Source 1, Source 2, Source 3, Source 4

Nuisance calls leave 3.2 million people scared to answer the phone

29th October 2013. Some 3.2 million people out of the 45 million who have received unsolicited calls or text messages from businesses are afraid to answer the phone. In addition to making over 3 million people steadfastly refuse to answer the phone, 8.8 million find these marketing calls "stressful". This is according to charity StepChange, which found that 26 million adults - including financially vulnerable people - had been offered high-interest credit such as payday loans via unexpected calls and texts. Separate research by IntaPeople IT Recruitment revealed that 91% of UK consumers have been annoyed by cold sales techniques, with cold sales calls the most infuriating (74%) followed by PPI calls (71%). Labour MP Stella Creasy, shadow minister for competition and consumer affairs, called for regulators to crack down on unwanted marketing calls and texts to provide better protection for consumers.

She said: "Just as you shouldn't be followed if you decide to leave a shop, so you shouldn't be hassled if you've asked a company to stop calling - yet for the millions of consumers who get unsolicited text messages, phone calls or spam emails, the news that companies are flouting schemes like the telephone preference service system will further highlight the current self regulation of this industry isn't good enough. "We know some companies are playing fair, but too many are flouting the rules and causing misery for many as they are plagued by these messages despite their best attempts to stop them." While the majority of PPI claims management companies (CMCs) operate in an ethical manner, there are a few that slip through the net and seek to drum up business via unwanted calls and texts. Source 1, Source 2, Source 3

PPI scandal could have been prevented with monitoring to spot early warning signs

28th October 2013. The chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has said that the payment protection insurance (PPI) scandal might have been spotted earlier if firms' sources of revenue had been monitored. Speaking at the London-based British Bankers' Association Annual International Conference, Martin Wheatley said that taking such action would have set alarm bells ringing over the high margins in PPI compared with the product's low claims ratio, which stands at around 16% of gross written premiums.

Mr Wheatley stated: "It's important to probe sources of revenue for a firm to provide an early warning for possible misdemeanours." One of the three key themes of his speech included problems with a regulatory framework that was too retrospective. This follows an interview with MoneySavingExpert at the beginning of April - when the FCA took over from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) - in which Mr Wheatley admitted the FSA was "too slow to realise the severity of PPI". Looking ahead to the future

However, he said that this would change as the FCA stepped into its new role. "We're expecting all of our supervisors to be looking ahead as much as they're looking back to where product growth is for firms and so we'll have a signal early on where firms see the profitable areas," he said. He added that the FCA has the legal power to ban a product if they believe it is not or cannot be sold safely. At the recent BBA conference, Mr Wheatley said that the first key element of regulatory architecture is to anticipate issues before they become multi-billion pound problems. Source 1 Source 2

"Shamefully high": Number of PPI cases taken to Ombudsman passes the one million mark

23rd October 2013. The chief ombudsman has hit out at the banks' complaints procedure, calling it "slow and bureaucratic" as figures reveal that over one million people have come to the watchdog with PPI grievances. Consumers have the option to go to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) if their PPI claim has been rejected by the bank. However, complaints procedures at UK banks has been questioned after it emerged that the watchdog found in favour of the customer every seven in ten PPI cases. With 10,000 claims being submitted to the FOS every week, chief ombudsman Natalie Ceeney said it was time for banks and other financial institutions to learn from the high volume of complaints.

She said: "Last year the regulator reported that over five million "complaints" were made about financial businesses. "That's five million comments and observations on the service provided by banks and other financial businesses. This feedback could inform new ways of working, new products, better services, and a new relationship with customers. "But too often, that doesn't happen. These customers' feedback gets subsumed by a complaints infrastructure that's slow [and] bureaucratic." Between July and September the Ombudsman received 143,177 new complaints - a 39% rise on the previous year and 81% of which concerned PPI. Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which?, said: "The number of people turning to the Ombudsman to get PPI redress is still shamefully high. He added that an uphold rate of 70% indicates that some banks are "not dealing with PPI complaints properly and are fobbing off customers who have valid complaints". Source

Drop in new PPI complaints suggests the worst might be over

22nd October 2013. The City regulator recorded the first drop in complaints in three years, with the optimistic figures indicating the PPI scandal might be tailing off. Figures from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) revealed that 2.9 million complaints were made between January and June 2013, down 500,000 on the previous six months. This is the first fall since the first half of 2010. The majority of complaints received concerned PPI, but the number of new PPI cases opened in the first half of 2013 was also noticeably lower than previous periods. Just 1.8 million cases were opened compared with the industry peak of 2.2 million complaints received in the previous six months, marking a 17.7% drop.

In addition, 92% of complaints made to financial services firms were dealt with within eight weeks, which is the highest proportion since records began seven years ago. A spokesman for the British Bankers' Association (BBA) said the figures are "encouraging". He continued: "Banks are determined that there will be no repeat of any of the bad practices which caused previous mis-selling in the past and have overhauled incentive structures. Staff are now rewarded for high levels of customer service and not sales volumes." However, the optimistic picture painted by the FCA is not mirrored by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

The Ombudsman, which intervenes when banks and customers fail to reach an agreement, revealed a 149% jump in PPI complaints between April and September 2013 compared to the same period the year before. Source 1, Source 2, Source 3

Co-operative Bank injects £100mn into PPI compensation pot

21st October 2013. Following revisions on redress for mis-sold payment protection insurance, British lender Co-operative Bank has boosted its compensation pot by over £100mn. The troubled bank has admitted it needs an additional £105mn on top of the £269mn previously set aside to compensate victims of mis-sold PPI.

The revision is due to the increased volumes of customers coming forward with complaints and fresh guidance from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) detailing appropriate levels of compensation for affected customers. The new sum takes into account the amount of compensation owed to mortgage customers who were affected by a recently discovered flaw. Some mortgage customers were charged only interest on the first mortgage instalment, which meant that further payments were higher than they should have been.

The top-up also covers the "identification of a technical breach of the Consumer Credit Act", which is thought to involve a failure to inform a number of loan customers that they could reduce their outstanding balance. Despite the sizeable PPI bill, the Co-op Bank is one of the UK's smallest lenders, with 6.5 million customers to its name and a 1.5% share of the current account market. Overall, banks and financial institutions have set aside more than £18bn to cover the cost of what has become the most expensive consumer financial scandal in British history. The policies were designed to protect borrowers in the event of losing their job or being unable to work through sickness, but they were often sold to those who would have been ineligible to claim. Source 1, Source 2, Source 3, Source 4, Source 5

Consumer expectations of financial services rise as PPI complaints continue to flood in

15th October 2013. As the full extent of the payment protection insurance (PPI) mis-selling scandal becomes clearer with every passing day, consumers are expecting financial services to address problems and implement radical changes. In the September edition of Ombudsman News, the chief executive of the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) said that expectations had risen among consumers over the past few years. Noting that financial services would have to step up their game, Natalie Ceeney said: "We cannot put that genie back in the bottle." She explained that while consumers had been forced to put up with bad service in the past, the future would be "radically different". "Consumer attitudes have changed, which means that financial businesses' attitudes to customer complaints need to be different too," she said.

Volume of PPI complaints: update

The latest figures from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) revealed that while the amount paid out to victims of mis-sold PPI was 15% lower in August than in July, it still ranked as the third highest monthly payout in 2013 so far. Customers were reimbursed £446mn in August 2013 by the 24 firms that account for 96% of complaints. However, this figure marks a dramatic drop from the £612.3mn paid out in June 2012, when compensation levels reached a peak. With the FOS receiving as many as 3,000 PPI complaints a day, Ms Ceeney warned that "many people may be waiting for up to two years to get a decision about their case".Source 1, Source 2

PPI compensation payouts predicted to boost Christmas spend

15th October 2013. Considerable compensation packages for mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI) are being cited as one of the reasons behind a predicted increase in festive expenditure. Analysts at Verdict have estimated that high street spending on the approach to Christmas will reach a staggering £88.4 billion. Experts have attributed the 2.2% rise in retail spending during the last three months of the year to improving consumer confidence. Online sales are also expected to rise 12% to £11.6 billion.

This is partially due to one-off payments including PPI compensation packages which are being distributed by banks to victims of the mis-selling scandal. Analysts also put it down to positive movements in the housing market and the economy painting a more optimistic picture than previous years.

In addition to one-off PPI payouts, the Royal Mail share flotation is playing a major role, with almost 700,000 ordinary retail investors having witnessed the value of their stakes rise by hundreds of pounds. The report said: "Consumer confidence drives spending and shoppers have far more reasons to be cheerful this year. "The economic news is more positive; the housing market is moving with further initiatives being introduced to encourage buying. "Job creation is outpacing cuts; and though PPI refunds and the Post Office float do not affect everyone they have a further halo effect of boosting the view that at last things are getting better." It added that the Christmas spend would revolve mainly around food, but noted there was likely to be an upturn in furniture, DIY and gardening sales. Source

FOS takes 10 months to reply to PPI complaint submissions

9th October 2013. A mortgage advisor has slammed the PPI complaints handling procedure at the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) after he claimed it took the regulator 10 months to respond to his submissions. Ian Broadbent, director of Blue Sky Mortgages, which is based in Lincolnshire, also said that the FOS had requested additional information on the case even though he previously submitted evidence that no PPI cover had been sold to a former mortgage client. The client took out a mortgage with the now-defunct Rooftop Mortgages in 2006 and recently filed a direct PPI claim. After being contacted by the ombudsman following a rejection, Mr Broadbent said he provided the relevant information last December, including the mortgage offer letter clearly stating that the client did not require PPI. But 10 months later he was contacted once again by the ombudsman requesting a mortgage statement and confirmation from his insurance underwriter than no PPI was present on the account.

Mr Broadbent has hit out at the FOS, saying: "Single premium PPI was offered by various insurance underwriters working with a particular lender. "They are not my insurance underwriters. How can anyone expect me to know how or who wrote policies for a now defunct lender and why should I have to chase a firm I have never dealt with to give me a letter stating that I did not sell something?" In response, a spokesman for the FOS said that it received 2,000 PPI complaints a day and that it expected to see relevant evidence from both parties before making a final decision. Source

PPI compensation sends car sales into overdrive in September

8th October 2013. Cars have zoomed into consumer shopping lists all over the country as the boost in income from payment protection insurance (PPI) compensation saw the UK car market enjoy one of its best months since the credit crunch.

Over 400,000 new cars were sold in September, pushing sales up by around 12% and ensuring Britain outperformed its European counterparts. Sales of the September 63 plate were 12.1% higher compared to the same period the year before, and marked the most since March 2008. Mike Hawes of car industry body Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said: "The UK car market has had a fantastic September and reflects growing confidence across the economy.

"People have been attracted by new deals and a number of customers have benefited from payment protection insurance mis-selling claims." He noted that September was the 19th consecutive month of steady growth, adding: "With fleet and business demand still to reach pre-recession levels, we believe the performance to be sustainable." With 20,600 Fiestas sold last month, Ford has held onto its coveted position as the UK's top-selling make. Vauxhall's Corsa was hot on its heels in second place.

However, the 403,136 cars registered last month remains below the pre-credit crunch September average of 416,000. So far, Britain's banks and financial institutions have paid out more than £18bn to compensate those who were mis-sold the insurance, with PPI fast becoming Britain's biggest ever consumer financial scandal. Source 1, Source 2

Clydesdale Bank reviewing PPI complaints handling policy after being accused of reducing its compensation bill

7th October 2013. Clydesdale Bank has admitted it is currently in the process of reviewing its payment protection insurance (PPI) complaints handling procedure amid allegations that it destroyed important records. Hundreds of customers have complained that the bank dismissed their PPI claims because their records had been destroyed. Around 450 people with PPI claims said the bank refused their attempts to obtain compensation as the necessary information had been disposed of. According to Herald Scotland, Clydesdale Bank invoked the Data Protection Act when destroying customer records dating back more than seven years.

The Data Protection Act states that information must not be kept for longer than is necessary for the registered purpose. However, concerns have surfaced that the bank may be dramatically reducing its PPI bill by deleting these records. In addition, Clydesdale is the only major bank which says it is unable to provide customer records dating back more than six or seven years. This is according to The Herald, which obtained this information from reputable Scottish claims companies. The potentially reduced PPI compensation bill is not the only reason Clydesdale Bank is coming under fire. Source 1, Source 2, Source 3, Source 4

FCA should name and shame firms over unfair PPI claim handling

2nd October 2013. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) should not hesitate to name and shame financial institutions that are not giving their customers the treatment they deserve when claiming for mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI). This is the latest call from consumer body Which? following worrying figures from the latest FCA investigation. The City watchdog revealed that two thirds of smaller lenders have "serious problems" with the way outcomes are being delivered to PPI claimants.

Of the 18 firms surveyed, only six were deemed fair in their approach to PPI claims. The FCA "disagreed" with the way compensation had been denied at the other firms, and one has been referred for enforcement action. Clive Adamson, director of supervision at the FCA, said: "We expect firms to deliver fair outcomes to PPI complainants. In our review, we found that some firms are doing this while it is clear others still have some way to go." However, all 18 participants, including small high street banks, building societies, personal loan companies and credit card providers, have remained anonymous.

But Richard Lloyd, Which? executive director, has called for the FCA to publicise the names of the firms in question in the interest of consumers. Richard Lloyd said: "This is further evidence that some firms are not dealing with PPI complaints properly and are fobbing off customers who have genuine complaints. People deserve to get back what they're rightly owed, with minimum hassle. "We want the FCA to name and shame the firms who not treating their customers fairly and follow up with tough action, including heavy fines, against anyone found breaking the rules." Source 1, Source 2, Source 3

Lloyds Banking Group takes on Linklaters as new PPI adviser

1st October 2013. Lloyds has played a leading role in the ongoing payment protection insurance (PPI) scandal but it looks like the bank could be set for a change as it emerges that Linklaters have taken over Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer's role as regulatory adviser. According to sources speaking to The Lawyer, Freshfields lost the mandate to provide regulatory advice following an undercover investigation by The Times which revealed serious issues with the way PPI complaints were being handled. When details of the investigation were published, Lloyds was forced to admit there were "issues" with its PPI complaints procedure.

Freshfields is a longstanding adviser to the bank and led the fight against the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) for the British Bankers Association (BBA) in 2011 over the handling of PPI claims. The organisation was not implicated in any of the allegations made against Lloyds, with sources implying the mandate expired soon after the investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) began. Linklaters corporate partners, Jeremy Parr and Matthew Bland, have worked with the bank for a number of years and took lead roles in Lloyds' £22.5bn capital raising in 2009.

Linklaters frequently advises the bank on corporate and legal matters, but it is hoped this new assignment will instigate a clean-up in banking culture, especially where PPI is concerned. Lloyds has so far paid out £5.6bn in compensation to 1.5 million customers, more than any other bank. Source 1, Source 2

Fair PPI complaint handling: FCA investigation reveals small lenders "still have some way to go"

30th September 2013. The financial regulator has uncovered "serious problems" with the way smaller lenders are delivering outcomes to payment protection insurance (PPI) claimants. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) were concerned with the methods of 12 out of 18 firms, including small high street banks, building societies, personal loan companies and credit card providers. The regulator's report stated that it "disagreed" with the way they had rejected compensation claims and as a result one company has been referred for enforcement action. As part of the FCA's investigation, the companies were asked to submit a sample of 50 PPI complaints, 40 of which had been rejected and 10 of which had been upheld.

Only six of the 18 firms surveyed were deemed fair in their approach, with the FCA disagreeing with six in 10 of the cases rejected by the other 12. The regulator also voiced concerns about 43% of the redress offers, saying they "did not display a genuinely holistic approach" to dealing with claims. Clive Adamson, director of supervision at the FCA, said: "We expect firms to deliver fair outcomes to PPI complainants. In our review, we found that some firms are doing this while it is clear others still have some way to go." The FCA said it is working with the unnamed companies to improve the way complaints are handled. The firms investigated account for around 16% of the PPI complaints brought against the banking industry and have so far footed £1.1bn of the total £12bn bill. Source 1, Source 2

Falling rate of PPI complaints indicates scandal is tailing off

25th September 2013. It's good news for banks and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as figures reveal the PPI scandal seems to be nearing its peak and on the verge of a downward trend. While the number of PPI complaints to the FCA rose in the second half of 2012 compared with the first half, the climb was only marginal. Some 2,170,537 PPI complaints were received in the second half of 2012, up from 2,060,297 in the first six months of the year. Banks are beginning to breathe sighs of relief as the slight increase suggests that the end may be in sight for the enduring PPI scandal. The PPI compensation bill that banks are having to foot has almost halved since its May 2012 peak of £730.5 million, having remained around the £400 million mark since December 2012.

The number of complaints unrelated to PPI also underwent a drop, standing at 1.25 million in the second half of the year. This is not only lower than the previous six months but is also lower than at any time since 2006, indicating that financial institutions are making a genuine effort to clean up their act in the wake of various scandals. This is a weight off the FCA's shoulders as it has increasingly been able to make its way through a backlog of complaints. Complaint handling within the UK financial services regulator also improved: some 88.4% of cases are closed within eight weeks, up from 86% in the first half of 2012 and 64.1% in the final half of 2012. Source

Barclays trials improvements in customer service to "clean up sins of the past"

24th September 2013. Barclays has played a major role in the various banking scandals that have plagued Britain in the past few years, but it seems the institution is starting to clean up its act as it pushes ahead with new commitments to improve customer service. After receiving some 250,000 responses to its 'Your Bank' initiative launched earlier this month asking customers how they could improve, Barclays is in the process of reviewing its overdraft fees. Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Barclays' retail and business banking chief executive, Ashok Vaswani, said the bank has been trialling a text alert service which warns customers when they are on the brink of dipping into the red. Customers with multiple accounts may be able to offset money in one against an overdraft in another to dodge charges in another initiative being considered by Barclays.

The text alert service has already cost the bank £1.5mn in lost fees. Mr Vaswani, who started working at the bank in 2010, said: "I'm going through the business with a fine toothcomb. We want to de-risk the business and clean up any sins of the past. "We really, really have to put customers at the centre of everything we do." Britain's five big banks are striving to rebuild consumer trust following a number of banking crises including the credit crunch, the fixing of Libor and the ongoing PPI scandal. Banks are still being flooded by thousands of PPI complaints and the £18bn bill continues to rise at a remarkable rate. Source 1, Source 2

Former director of CBI will chair new body to 'restore trust in the banking system'

23rd September 2013. The former director-general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has been named as the chair of a new body designed to monitor the standards of the UK banking industry. Sir Richard Lambert, who headed up the CBI from 2006 to 2011, was announced as chair in a joint statement by chiefs at the big five banks on Friday (20 September) - RBS, HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds and Standard Chartered. The new standards body will be set up in a bid to put a stop to unethical practices in the wake of various financial scandals, including the fixing of Libor and the ongoing problems with payment protection insurance (PPI).

John Cridland, current CBI director-general, said: "Restoring trust in our banking system is absolutely fundamental to the future of the UK economy and I can think of few people better qualified to do this than Richard." He added: "His breadth of experience and fearless independence are exactly the attributes needed to address the cultural and professional challenges which parts of the banking sector face." The Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards first advised the creation of the body in a June report, where the possibility of a radical shake-up in the banking industry was the main concern. At the time, the chair of the Commission, Andrew Tyrie MP, said that the "health and reputation of the banking industry itself is at stake" and called for reckless banking practices to become a criminal offence. Source

Major role played in PPI scandal drags Barclays down to lowest rated UK bank

18th September 2013. Britain's banks and other financial institutions may be trying to leave the various scandals that have dominated recent headlines firmly behind them, but it seems their customers aren't so willing to forget. Using research from the Ethical Consumer website, campaign group Move Your Money scored 70 institutions, with Barclays dragging its heels in last position.

The bank scored just four out of 100 points in an assessment that tested honesty, ethics and customer service. A spokesman for Barclays said the bank was "disappointed" by the ranking. He commented: "We work hard to put our customers at the heart of everything we do and have taken active steps to ensure this happens." However, Laura Willoughby, head of Move Your Money, argued that Barclays achieved its very low score due to high volumes of customer complaints, its involvement in Libor fixing and the role it played in the payment protection insurance (PPI) scandal, which is expected to be the biggest consumer financial scandal in history.

She said: "Banks want you to think they have changed. Our scorecard shows that many have not." The institutions were scored on five criteria including customer service, honesty, culture, ethics and impact on the economy. While Lloyds, RBS and HSBC all scored higher than Barclays, all four were awarded a 'red' rating from Move your Money and current account customers have since been urged to switch to other banks and building societies. Source

Banks wrongly receive the blame for PPI complaint mis-handling, says BBA spokesman

17th September 2013. Following the launch of an investigation into the way banks deal with PPI complaints, a spokesman for the British Bankers' Association has argued that it is claims management companies who are to blame for the hold up. After figures surfaced revealing that 86% of PPI complaints taken to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) after being rejected by Lloyds were upheld, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced that two financial institutions had been referred to enforcement. However, a BBA spokesman argued that banks were "continuing to improve their systems" and that the complaints process is being hindered by a handful of claims management companies (CMCs).

He said: "All banks have hired more staff to deal with the large numbers of complaints on this issue, but unfortunately the actions of some unscrupulous CMCs who refer huge numbers of complaints to the ombudsman, whether there are grounds to or not, mean that the system is being clogged up and that people with genuine complaints don't always get the service they deserve." However, chief ombudsman Natalie Ceeney has commented in the past that customers are turning to CMCs because banks are taking too long to respond to complaints. She has also pointed the finger at banks for shifting valid complaints across to the FOS and delaying the compensation process by a matter of months. Source

"We will take more enforcement action": FCA's warning to banks over PPI complaint mishandling

16th September 2013. Following the news that as many as 86% of payment protection insurance complaints shifted from banks to the Ombudsman have been upheld, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is taking strong action to crack down on unscrupulous financial institutions.

The FCA recently announced that two more financial institutions have been referred to enforcement over their approach to PPI complaints and stated that the ensuing recommendations will be published in the second quarter of next year. The organisation claimed complaint handling at a number of major banks and building societies "isn't working" after figures surfaced which revealed that 86% of complaints rejected by Lloyds Banking Group were upheld by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). Commenting on the launch of the thematic review, chief executive of the FCA, Martin Wheatley, said: "We have got two large investigations underway and we have completed two where we have levied quite strong fines.

"We have been working very hard to look at bank complaints handling. We have taken enforcement action, and we'll take more enforcement action and continue to pressure how banks handle complaints through our ongoing supervision and thematic work." The Co-operative Bank was fined £113,000 back in January after failing to treat customers fairly over PPI compensation and Lloyds Banking Group was fined £4.3 million the following month after being accused of delaying PPI compensation payouts. Banking consultant Mehrdad Yousefi said: "Banks' complaints handling has worsened thanks to the rise in PPI claims, the lack of banking competition, insufficient customer service resources, and a lack of trust in banks generally, which in turn triggers more complaints." Source

FCA to investigate two banks over "outrageous" volumes of PPI claims rejections

11th September 2013. The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has published some shocking figures in the past few months showing that they are upholding as many as 80% of PPI claims originally rejected by banks - and now the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has stepped up by confirming a series of investigations into the matter. Payment protection insurance (PPI) is a type of insurance that was sold alongside credit cards and loans by banks and financial institutions. However, many customers were ripped off in the sense that they would have been unable to claim on it or did not actually need the cover in the first place.

Chief executive of the FCA, Martin Wheatley, said that two "large" investigations are currently underway, but refused to name the banks in question. He said that the number of legitimate PPI cases rejected by banks was "absolutely not acceptable" and told a committee of MPs that the FCA will "take more enforcement actions" against complaint mis-handling.

The Financial Ombudsman, which deals with complaints that have been turned down by banks, has found in favour of the customer in more than eight in ten complaints made against certain institutions, highlighting that banks are routinely shifting legitimate cases across to the FOS. Mr Wheatley described the figures as "outrageous". He added that the mis-handling of complaints at Lloyds, which were exposed by an undercover reporter for The Times back in June, had "not gone unnoticed". Source

PPI drives growth in UK jobs market

10th September 2013. The widespread payment protection insurance (PPI) scandal has helped to secure the most positive outlook for employment in the UK for six years. Around 20,000 jobs have already been created by the big banks to deal with customer PPI claims and thousands more by the hundreds of claims management firms (CMCs) that have sprung up in the wake of the scandal. This is according to recruitment firm Manpower, which believes that banks will need to recruit a great deal more staff to manage the vast volumes of PPI claims that continue to flood in. This dramatic rise in jobs has fuelled positive growth in the UK labour market, with 16% of finance and business employers alone planning to recruit staff.

Overall, 6% of employers expect to create jobs in the next three months, compared with 5% in the previous survey. By the end of 2013, the outlook for employment in Great Britain stands to be the best for six years. In his keynote speech on the economy yesterday (September 9), Chancellor George Osborne said that the economy is "turning a corner".

He said that since the end of the recession, the UK has grown by 4.3%, highlighting that this is more than the eurozone. "At the same time the labour market has performed much better than expected," he continued. "Employment has grown extremely strongly - more so than even the most optimistic forecasts, with over 1.3 million net new jobs created in the last three years. "Indeed, employment is now above its pre-recession peak in the UK." Source 1, Source 2, Source 3

TSB launches as "completely clean bank" untainted by PPI mis-selling scandal

9th September 2013. TSB has erased all links with Lloyds Banking Group as it launched as a "completely clean" standalone bank. TSB disappeared 18 years ago when it merged with Lloyds, but is now set to become the UK's eighth biggest high street bank after shaking off the troubled bank and re-launching as a standalone institution. Lloyds chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio highlighted that TSB was not tarred with the same brush as the other high street banks, which have been rocked by considerable turbulence threatening the financial sector in the past few years.

He described it as a "completely clean bank" and indeed, TSB is not weighed down with claims concerning the payment protection insurance (PPI) mis-selling scandal like Lloyds, which played a major role in what has been called the biggest consumer finance scandal in history.

TSB is also not associated with complex interest rate swap products and is free of the toxic assets which came from Lloyds' acquisition of HBOS at the peak of the economic crisis, resulting in the 39% state-owned bank being bailed out by the taxpayer. Erasing all links with Lloyds completely, the black horse emblem has been replaced with a new TSB logo featuring white lettering across blue circles. Mr Horta-Osorio added that TSB will be a "real challenger on the high street".

TSB will have offices in Birmingham, Gloucester, Edinburgh, London and Bristol and call centres in Swansea, Sunderland, Edinburgh and Gloucester, collectively staffed by 8,000 people. Source

FCA confirms investigation into PPI complaint handling

4th September 2013. With figures published earlier this week revealing that the Ombudsman found in favour of 90% of customers bringing rejected PPI complaints against Lloyds Banking Group, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced it will conduct a review into complaint handling. Hundreds of thousands of customers have been left with no other option than to take their PPI claim to the financial ombudsman after banks rejected complaints or severely delayed compensation. In a speech to the Building Societies Association, director of the FCA's mortgage and consumer lending subdivision, Linda Woodall, said: "The amount of complaints that go to the ombudsman suggests that something isn't working in the way in which firms manage and investigate customers' complaints." As many as nine out of 10 PPI complaints against Lloyds - and its various forms including Halifax and Bank of Scotland - were upheld, compared with nine out of 10 complaints concerning Nationwide Building Society which were found against the customer. In theory however, both Lloyds and Nationwide should be working to identical guidance from the FCA about how to handle PPI complaints. Both financial institutions also have the same regulatory duty to treat customers fairly. This suggests that some banks are using the ombudsman as a convenient place to 'dump' the thousands of complaints that are still flooding in from victims of the mis-selling scandal. There have also been some suggestions that banks believe people will drop their claim if it is rejected the first time round. Ms Woodall said the review will "identify why complaint handling is not working well for some consumers and address poor practice". She added: "We are hopeful that this will lead to a reduction in the number of customers requiring the services of the Ombudsman." Source 1, Source 2, Source 3

PPI complaints to ombudsman soar as banks continue to deny or delay payment

3rd September 2013. Claims from the banking industry that the volume of PPI compensation claims is starting to slow down have been challenged as new figures show that a whopping 86% of all new complaints made to the financial ombudsman in the first six months of the year were about the mis-sold insurance. A total of 266,228 complaints were made in the first half of this year, marking a 26% rise in the number of PPI complaints to the ombudsman in the previous six months. The ombudsman, which has accused some financial institutions of taking too much time to resolve PPI claims, is often left to deal with cases if banks do not reach an agreement with the customer.

Chief ombudsman Natalie Ceeney said: "Disappointingly we are still seeing cases where businesses are not following our long-standing approach to PPI, resulting in long waits and unnecessary delays for consumers." Some banks and building societies have been dealing with complaints more justly than others, with the ombudsman finding in favour of just 7% of Nationwide customers while upholding a staggering 90% of complaints declined by Lloyds TSB. Lloyds Banking Group's customer service director, Martin Dodd, said: "The group continues to proactively manage the issue of PPI complaints in order that customers can receive redress if they have been mis-sold. "This is an ongoing process and we'll continue to review all claims in an in-depth manner that produces fair outcomes for customers." Source

40% of PPI cold calls interrupt meetings, presentations and family meals

2nd September 2013. Phone calls, texts and automated messages concerning payment protection insurance (PPI) are disrupting work and family life according to a recent survey. According to the Citizens Advice Bureau, just over a quarter of people (27%) received their latest PPI call while sitting down for a meal with the family and 14% received a call at work, some in the midst of meetings and presentations. Around 30 million people have been disturbed by a small number of PPI claims firms which seek to drum up business through unwanted contact with potential customers. Over 90% of the 5,682 people surveyed were contacted by a telephone call, 40% received automated messages to landlines and 35% got a text to their mobiles.

Overall, two thirds of British adults have received messages regarding PPI and 98% of these did not give their consent to be contacted. Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy called for a ban on cold calls from financial services firms. "Nuisance calls aren't just irritating, they're often a sign that the service on offer isn't very good or is actually a scam," she said. Source 1, Source 2

Mis-sold credit card protection debacle dubbed the new PPI scandal

28th August 2013. Thirteen banks have set aside £1.3 billion worth of compensation to redress the seven million people affected by a fresh mis-selling scandal involving credit card protection. A report in The Guardian revealed that Britain's high street banks are currently caught up in yet another mis-selling scandal as they try to rebuild their reputation and restore consumer faith following a raft of mis-sold PPI policies. A total of 13 banks and building societies, including Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland and HSBC, are set to pay out the sum to seven million customers who purchased credit card and identity theft protection policies from card insurance specialist CPP. Around 4.4 million policies designed to 'protect' against credit card fraud and identity theft were taken out and 19 million renewed between 2005 and 2011. However, card issuers already provide this protection for free, which explains why only 0.5% of people with policies from CPP have made a claim.

Average payouts are expected to stand at £185 per person. This week CPP will be writing directly to customers it believes might be entitled to a claim, and with the high volume of policies bought in the six year period racking up a gross profit of £354 million, there will be a hefty bill to foot. News of the credit card protection scandal thwarts recent efforts to restore faith in the UK's high street banks, which has included hiring new staff to implement the clean-up in the broken banking culture. Source 1, Source 2, Source 3

The 'new PPI' - how did the credit card protection scandal come about?

28th August 2013. Faith in British banks is at an all-time low, and with the rigging of Libor and the rampant mis-selling of PPI policies, it is not difficult to understand why. Banks are keen to give the impression they are doing what they can to fix this broken banking culture, but their efforts are being thwarted by a series of incidents. For example, an undercover investigation at Lloyds found major problems in its PPI complaint handling procedure and the Ombudsman is still finding in favour of customers who have had claims rejected by banks. And now news of a credit card fraud and identity theft protection scam has surfaced, with the media flagging it as the new PPI.

Thirteen financial institutions, including state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland, have earmarked £1.3bn to compensate seven million customers who took out the product from CPP Group, a York-based life assistance company. Instead of getting through to their bank when trying to activate bank cards, customers came into contact with a sales person at CPP, who tried to sell one of two products under investigation. The first insured customers for up to £100,000 in the event their cards were stolen and cost £30, despite the fact banks already covered them for free. The second was an identity theft product costing £90.

Between January 2005 and March 2011, £354mn gross profit was generated after 4.4 million policies were sold. Around 18.7 policies were also renewed, raking in £656mn and further ramping up the compensation bill. According to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), customer compensation could average around £300. While this isn't on the same scale as the PPI scandal, the idea behind it is fundamentally the same and could prove a hindrance in the race to recoup customer trust. Source 1, Source 2, Source 3

Banking industry "unlikely ever to be the same again"

21st August 2013. Barclays struggles to shake tarnished reputation as it still receives 1,500 PPI complaints every day After Barclays bank ramped up its provisions for payment protection insurance (PPI) compensation payouts last month, the bank hoped this would bring the mis-selling scandal to a close.

However, hopes have been dashed as figures reveal that Barclays is still receiving in excess of 1,500 complaints every single day about the mis-sold insurance. In the first half of this year alone the bank received 285,000 complaints regarding "general insurance and pure protection" with most of these concerning PPI.

While this represented a 1% decrease compared to the second half of 2012, the figure is still an incredible 287% higher than it was two years ago. Barclays set aside a further £1.35bn for its PPI compensation pot last month in the hope that this would draw a line under the saga, but the freshly uncovered figures suggest it is struggling to shake its reputation as the UK's most complained about bank. A Barclays statement said: "Barclays has not sold PPI for several years, therefore complaints about PPI reflect mistakes made some time ago, rather than a reflection of current performance." However, the number of PPI complaints the bank has upheld has increased from 65% in the final half of 2012 to 68% in the first six months of this year.

The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), which has been snowed under with cases, found in favour of three-quarters of Barclays customers who were originally turned away by the bank and forced to take their complaint to the Ombudsman.Source 1, Source 2

Banking industry "unlikely ever to be the same again"

20th August 2013. The reputation of UK banks has suffered a blow in the past few years, with customer confidence still at an all-time low after the likes of the payment protection insurance (PPI) scandal and the rigging of Libor. With problems rife in the industry, banks have had to face up to their mistakes and implement a few changes to improve the banking culture and restore customer faith. The industry has undergone such a drastic transformation that KPMG has said in a new report that bank business models are "unlikely ever to be the same again".

One of the big changes is a shift in leadership. Between 2006 and 2012, more than 75% of non-executive directors and 72% of executive management have been replaced at the five major UK banks (Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group, HSBC, RBS and Standard Chartered). Mid-July brought the news that the acting director of retail at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will step up to the role of global head of compliance for wealth and investment management at Barclays in October. Since Christina Sinclair played a major role in securing redress for consumers affected by the PPI mis-selling scandal, the bank hopes that she will help the clean-up at Barclays.

Banks have also been forced to set aside billions of pounds to compensate those who were mis-sold PPI in the past. But while the total bill stands at over £10bn, the KPMG report shows that all five major UK banks recorded a profit in the first six months of the year for the first time since 2010. Source 1, Source 2

PPI compensation driving economic growth as payouts encourage consumer spending

19th August 2013. Economists have long surmised that the enormous volume of payment protection insurance (PPI) payouts has been driving the rise in household spending, but this theory has not been validated until now. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) confirmed last week that the £10 billion of PPI compensation claim payouts have encouraged spending, particularly on big ticket items, stimulating economic growth. Economists had presumed that PPI compensation payouts would add around 1% to annual disposable incomes, giving consumers more confidence and helping the economic recovery.

Simon Ward, chief economist at Henderson, said: "It has been a constant supporting factor for consumers for 18 months or so." In an economic review into household spending on cars in July, the ONS said: "A more recent influence on purchases of cars may be the compensation payouts to consumers made as a result of payment protection insurance mis-selling, amounting to a cumulative total of just over £10bn since the start of 2011.

"The relatively large size of these payments offers households the potential to make large purchases, such as new cars, which they might otherwise have deferred. The timing of payments corresponds quite closely with the renewed pick-up in car purchases that began in 2011." While the PPI payouts have undoubtedly played a role in improving household finances, they do little to explain the recent rise in consumer spending that has been driving growth. The scandal has had a wider impact on the economy, with thousands of people employed by banks and the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) to handle the claims and administer payments. Source

PPI supplementary fees rescue FOS from case fees shortfall

14th August 2013. The income generated from the new supplementary case fee for payment protection insurance related complaints that companies transfer to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has more than made up for the £17mn shortfall in case fees. The FOS budgeted £119.6mn for the 2012/13 financial year, but case fees in the 12 month period in fact totalled just £102.6mn, leaving a £17mn deficit. However, supplementary fees for payment protection insurance (PPI) claims came in at double the £52mn budget for the 2012/13 financial year, generating £126mn in total. The new £350 supplementary case fee introduced for PPI complaints in April 2012 is chargeable on the 26th case and any subsequent cases during the year.

Case fees work in the same way: businesses are not charged for the first 25 chargeable cases closed during the financial year, but any successive cases are charged as normal. Standard case fees rose to £550 for the 2013/14 financial year, a £50 increase from the previous year. Consumers are generally not charged for bringing a complaint to the FOS. The Ombudsman said that in line with accounting standards it has deferred a significant proportion of the supplementary case fee income received over the financial year into future years to cover anticipated costs. The FOS witnessed a 179% rise in the number of complaints in the first quarter of 2013/14, largely driven by the PPI mis-selling scandal. In the first 13 weeks from April 2013 the Ombudsman received 159,197 complaints, 83% of which related to PPI. Source 1, Source 2, Source 3

£1.4 million pay packet for FOS executives dealing with PPI complaints

13th August 2013. The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has been incredibly busy this past year as huge numbers of PPI complaints continue to pour in. And it seems that all this hard work has been rewarded in financial terms, with the organisation's audited directors' report and financial statements showing that it paid its nine executives £1.4mn for the year ending 31 March 2013 (including pension and benefits). FOS chief executive Natalie Ceeney took home £256,064 in 2013 compared with £236,444 in 2012, a £20,000 increase.

She said: "The executive team, ably guided and supported by our board has significantly developed our organisation over the last year. The most profound change, of course, was the decision to build our capacity to handle the influx of new PPI cases."

According to its annual review published in May, the rise in PPI complaints has driven a 92% rise in new cases received by the FOS over the course of the year, prompting the organisation to recruit 922 permanent staff to deal specifically with the mis-sold insurance. Ceeney added: "We have been careful to develop our organisation responsibly, ensuring that we maintain quality at the heart of what we do, and ensuring that we spend money wisely." The report said: "Salaries for members of the executive team are reviewed annually. Any increases reflect changes in responsibility, inflation, market movements and individual performance. Salaries of the chief executive, deputy chief executive and the principal ombudsman also take account of the judicial salary-scales." Source

New BT phones to block out PPI nuisance calls

12th August 2013. Following a spate of complaints concerning nuisance calls, BT has launched a new collection of phones designed to block spam. A recent survey by industry watchdog Ofcom found that as many as 82% of people are receiving an average of 2.4 nuisance calls a week, with more than one in five of these related to payment protection insurance (PPI) claims management companies looking for business. While the majority of claims management companies (CMCs) operate ethically, there are a few that slip through the net and try to drum up a list of clients using nuisance calls in order to get them to claim for mis-sold PPI.

In a bid to spare consumers from these spam phone calls, BT has unveiled the BT7600, BT4000 and BT4500, a collection of landline phones designed to block withheld and international numbers, which are often the source of nuisance marketing calls. Ofcom revealed that PPI reclaims account for the majority of spam phone calls, with 97% people deeming them the most annoying - but now unwanted calls and those without caller ID can be locked out.

A VIP 'whitelist' of numbers can be created so that calls from friends and family overseas are not blocked. John Petter, consumer managing director at BT said: "BT takes the issue of nuisance calls very seriously and is constantly looking for ways to help our customers to manage their calls. "We are now expanding our range of nuisance calls phones to give even more customers the peace of mind that when the phone rings it should be someone they want to speak to." Source 1, Source 2

FCA investigates PPI complaint handling at Lloyds

7th August 2013. Lloyds Banking Group is under investigation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as the regulator seeks to examine the way in which payment protection insurance (PPI) complaints have been handled to date. The bank has been forced to put aside £50 million in order to cover the cost of the probe and said it was disappointed that action was being taken by the regulator. News of the investigation follows the termination of Lloyds' contract with accountancy firm Deloitte in May after an undercover reporter from The Times published evidence of bad practice in the way that PPI complaints were dealt with. Lloyds was also fined £4.3 million by the watchdog back in February after finding that up to 140,000 customers had endured delays when it came to receiving PPI compensation payouts.

The bank stated: "We will work with the FCA to resolve the issues and ensure our customers' complaints are addressed efficiently and fairly." What's more, Lloyds recently revealed that it has earmarked a further £450 million to cover additional PPI mis-selling costs, taking the total bill across all banks to a staggering £7.3 billion. It's not all bad news for the bank, however; the lender announced last week that its half-year profits of £2.1 billion have enabled a return to the black. At this time last year, the bank reported losses of £456 million, but a reduction in costs and efforts to drive down bad debts by 43% have propelled it out of the red. Source 1, Source 2

Mounting pressure on banks to reopen £4bn worth of rejected PPI claims

5th August 2013. The banking industry is not particularly popular with consumers at present and now fresh research has given the UK population yet another reason to point the finger at high street banks. New figures reveal that banks have saved a staggering £4 billion in payment protection insurance (PPI) compensation payouts after rejecting claims brought by customers who believe they had been affected by the mis-selling scandal. The research, conducted by The Times and Forbes Douglas, found that 2.4 million PPI compensation claims were dropped by consumers between 2010 and 2012 after they were rejected by their banks.

The initial rejection deterred many customers from taking their complaint elsewhere, but the research showed that more than 1.5 million would have been upheld should customers had gone on to appeal their cases with the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). With the average payout standing at £2,750, these abandoned claims have saved banks - and swindled customers out of - around £4 billion, prompting campaigners to call for rejected PPI claims to be reopened. The revelations are not likely to endear banks to consumers or help to repair their dented reputation, which has crumbled in the wake of PPI mis-selling and the rigging of Libor.

Industry bodies are similarly unimpressed with banks, which have been shifting claims onto external bodies rather than dealing with the problem themselves, forcing the FOS to hire thousands of extra staff. According to Which? the total PPI compensation bill stands at £18.4 billion - double the cost of the 2012 Olympic Games. Source 1, Source 2

Lloyds prepares to pay out millions more for new PPI claims

5th August 2013. Payment protection insurance is on track to become the most expensive mis-selling scandal in the history of the UK banking industry, and now more so than ever as new figures reveal that banks are planning on adding further to the compensation pot.

Lloyds Banking Group may have already earmarked a staggering £7.3bn to reimburse affected customers, but warned in recent disclosures alongside its financial results for the first half of 2013 that it might have to set aside hundreds of millions more for this purpose. While PPI claims have resulted in an average payout of £1,700 this year, Lloyds stated that going forwards it was assuming a lower figure of £1,440 per claim. However, for every £100 above this estimated figure the bank would need to shell out a further £70mn. The bank would also be forced to increase provisions by £10mn for every 1% increase in response rate to its PPI mailing programme in excess of the current 27% and also for every 1% increase in the claim uphold rate that outstrips the 73% assumption.

In a statement Lloyds said: "This represents the group's best estimate of the likely future costs, but a number of risks and uncertainties remain and it is possible that the eventual outcome may differ materially from the current estimate resulting in a further provision being required." Lloyds is not the only bank feeling the financial repercussions of the PPI scandal: last week Barclays increased its PPI mis-selling provision for the fifth time after it set aside a further £1.35mn. Source 1, Source 2

PPI claims management firms offer financial incentives to persuade people to hand over details of friends and family

August 2013. Hundreds of PPI claims management companies are operating on a refer-a-friend scheme, offering financial incentives to people who are willing to hand over the details of friends and family. Claims management firms have sprung up all over the country in the wake of the PPI mis-selling scandal, and some are taking drastic measures to stand out from the competition. One way to do this involves giving customers who pass over the details of friends and family vouchers and payments, ranging from £20 to £50 per referral. An anonymous This Is Money reader said that she had collected £170 worth of vouchers by referring friends to a PPI claims management firm. A spokesman for the firm defended the scheme, saying: "We don't want to be cold calling potential customers and our refer a friend scheme avoids unsolicited marketing that many companies are involved with." The company also insisted that the permission of the person whose details are being passed over must be given before any referrals take place. However, concerns have been raised that this could lead to more bothersome phone calls from claims management companies. While the majority of these do operate ethically, some slip through the net and have resorted to cold calling potential customers - even those registered with the Telephone Preference Service, which is designed to prevent unsolicited sales and marketing calls. Source

Barclays earmarks additional £1.35mn for "eye watering" PPI compensation bill

31st July 2013. Barclays has increased its PPI mis-selling provision for the fifth time after it set aside a further £1.35mn yesterday to compensate customers affected by the scandal.

The extra provision drives the bank's total PPI compensation bill to more than £4bn and pushes the overall total across all banks and financial institutions to £17.9bn, with further increases expected this week.

Half year results from Barclays revealed that the bank has also set aside another £650mn to compensate small business that were mis-sold interest rate swap products. This brings the bank's total mis-selling bill to £5.5bn. While the drop-off in claims per month has plummeted by 46% since the peak in May 2012, Barclays admitted the slowdown had not been as quick as expected, prompting it to add to its provisions for redress for the fifth time.

The latest provisions set aside for PPI redress may have taken the bank's mis-selling bill past the £4bn mark, but with these only being a "best estimate" of the cost, Barclays warned that further provisions may be in the pipeline. Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: "The eye watering PPI compensation bill continues to escalate, showing how much banks have been in denial about the scale of their mis-selling. "The banks still have a long way to go to clean up their act and one way they should do so is by making it much easier for consumers entitled to PPI refunds to claim their money back." Source 1, Source 2, Source 3

Is the volume of PPI complaints on a downward trend?

31st July 2013. Banks can breathe a big sigh of relief as figures from the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) suggest that consumer complaints concerning payment protection insurance (PPI) are finally on a downward trend. The organisation is currently receiving 2,000 new cases each working day as opposed to the 3,000 it was dealing with on a daily basis six months ago. While chief financial ombudsman Natalie Ceeney noted it is difficult to predict trends, she told Reuters in an interview on Monday (July 29) that she suspects "we're on the downward curve". She said: "In any complaints cycle the numbers rise and you subsequently see them fall. I suspect we're on the downward curve. "Will it fall to 1,000 in six months? I just don't know. The interesting thing about PPI is none of us know where it's going to go." The figures come to light in the week banks are expected to announce plans to earmark billions more for the PPI compensation pot. The industry has already put aside in excess of £14bn to compensate those affected by the mis-selling scandal and both Barclays and Lloyds are expected to add to this in the near future. This is partially because most of the big banks have outsourced their PPI complaint handling rather than dealing with it themselves. Ceeney said: "The problem if you outsource is that you have to pay huge amounts of care to make sure your outsourcers are working to the right standards."Source 1, Source 2

PPI cold calling and deficient investigations put CMCs in firing line

24th July 2013. Claims management companies are coming under fire for nuisance tactics including cold calling and failure to trade responsibly. As the payment protection insurance (PPI) scandal has snowballed, a wealth of claims management companies (CMCs) have emerged to help customers secure the compensation they are entitled to. While the majority of CMCs operate in an ethical fashion, a few slip through the net and employ tactics such as cold calling to find business.

However, independent financial advice service Citizens Advice has had enough and has called on the government to clamp down on unscrupulous CMCs which resort to spam texts and nuisance calls to hunt for customers. Gillian Guy, Citizens Advice chief executive, said: "The Government should ban claims firms from cold calling, that way protecting people from the nuisance of unwanted calls and unscrupulous firms who don't provide all of the necessary information at the start." CMCs have also been causing problems for dealers, with partial investigations into a claim causing high levels of frustration.

According to the head of training and compliance at Finance Cover & Training, Karen Wagstaffe, a number of CMCs have been sending letters on behalf of customers to dealers without any indication as to whether a car, finance or insurance was the subject of the claim. Many dealers then have to check their systems manually to see whether a deal was done and whether it concerned finance and had PPI. Ms Wagstaffe said: "Often they weren't sold finance or insurance but the amount of time and energy it takes to locate these answers does indeed frustrate dealers no end." Source 1, Source 2

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What is the Official Stance on PPI Claims?

Reports by the Office of Fair Trading, the Competition Commission and the Financial Services Authority (FSA) demonstrated that there had been substantial PPI mis-selling and actively encourage people to claim. They acknowledge it is difficult to find customers who have been mis-sold PPI where the customer does not actually know that they have the product.

According to the Banking Times "lenders selling PPI can expect to earn £1,200 from a policy that costs £20 to provide". Is it any wonder that PPI providers cut corners?

Additionally, the FSA say that "It's vital that firms deal with these complaints fairly. Unfortunately, we don't currently have confidence that firms are doing this. On average, firms have rejected around 60% of the PPI complaints they have received, but some firms have rejected nearly all."

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This is Where we Come in


Mortgages or loans with PPI

Have you taken out a mortgage, secured loan, unsecured loan or hire purchase agreement in the last 10 years? If you have (or have had) a mortgage or loan that includes PPI with providers such as Santander, HBOS, Halifax, HFC, HSBC, Lloyds, Natwest, RBS, Northern Rock or in fact any other credit provider, you could be owed thousands of pounds - even if you've lost the paperwork. We can also look at going back more than 6 years, but you'll need to have all the documents pertaining to the loan in this case.

Credit cards with PPI

Have you taken out a credit card, store card or payment card in the last 10 years? If you have (or have had) a card that includes PPI with providers such as MBNA, Barclaycard, Capital One, American Express or in fact any other credit provider, you could be owed thousands of pounds.

In the majority of cases, what we are complaining about on your behalf is the fact that you shouldn't have been sold the PPI policy in the first place because it wasn't right for you. Your compensation could be a full refund of all your premiums plus interest. Your PPI claim will not have a negative impact on any existing loan or your ability to obtain a loan in the future.

You may even have more than one PPI claim even if you've claimed on the insurance or the policy is no longer in use.

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And 3 Reasons to Use us to Handle Your PPI Claim...


  1. When claiming PPI, experience counts: We have a substantial team of experienced advisers who have already helped recover millions of pounds in mistakenly paid premiums, interest and compensation for 1000's of customers.
  2. No win, no fee. You've nothing to lose: Unlike many of our competitors we'll tell you exactly what your PPI claim will cost. Importantly, there are no upfront fees, no hidden extra payments, and absolutely nothing to pay unless you win.
  3. We'll make it as easy as possible for you: We'll handle all the paperwork and chasing for you and we'll keep you informed with exactly what's happening at each stage. Some providers have tried to make the PPI claim process as long-winded as possible hoping that you give up - this is something we won't do, even taking the claim all the way to the Ombudsman if necessary.

25 Opportunities to Claim a Mis-Sold PPI Refund...


As you'll see below, there's a huge chance that you have been mis-sold PPI. Answer yes to JUST ONE of these simple questions:

  1. Did you not specifically ask the loan provider for PPI?
  2. Did your loan provider make you think you had to have PPI in order to have the loan?
  3. Did they add the PPI onto your loan without fully explaining why?
  4. When you took out the loan were you self employed, unemployed, retired, over the age limit or on a fixed term contract?
  5. Were you not told you could cancel the policy without penalty within the cooling-off period?
  6. Did the loan provider fail to explain whether it was selling on an advised or non advised basis?
  7. If they stated they were non advised, did they then go on to give advice regarding the merits of the PPI policy?
  8. Did the loan provider fail to check that the policy would be affordable in light of your income and outgoings?
  9. Did they not check if your circumstances were likely to change during the policy?
  10. Did the company fail to provide the written documentation required under the FSA’s rules such as the statement of price, policy summary or statement of demands and needs?
  11. Did they not stress the importance of reading the documentation?
  12. Were you pressured into taking a PPI contract?
  13. Did they fail to explain orally the full cost of the PPI or not tell you could get PPI independently for a fraction of the cost?
  14. Did they fail to explain orally the key features of the product, such as its optional nature, non-pro-rata refund terms and exclusions and limitations?
  15. Were you not told that a commission was to be paid to the broker or intermediary?
  16. Was the PPI paid as a lump sum when you took out the loan? Single premium products were often inflexible especially if you repaid your loan early.
  17. Did they fail to explain that if your loan was redeemed early then the rebate on the PPI element would not be proportionate?
  18. Did the PPI cover not match the loan term? Did they fail to make you aware of the consequences of taking out a PPI policy that does not cover the full term of the loan that it is linked to?
  19. Did they fail to ask you about any existing PPI payment cover you had?
  20. When you took out the loan, did you have existing medical conditions such as depression, back problems, etc.
  21. Did they fail to ask if you were entitled to sick pay from your employer?
  22. Did they fail to explain any of the PPI's exclusions in the written terms and conditions
  23. Despite it being a joint loan application, were the benefits applied only to one applicant and you were led to believe that all parties were equally entitled to PPI cover?
  24. Did they fail to check how long you were employed? Some PPI policies need you to have been employed for a certain length of time to be suitable
  25. Did they fail to obtain information from you as to what existing means you already had in place protecting the loan, including benefits from employer, existing insurance or savings and investments?

Our PPI claims experts can easily assess your case to let you know if you are a victim of a mis sold PPI policy and will make a claim on your behalf.

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