The latest in the battle against PPI mis-selling sees banks trying to wriggle out of properly compensating consumers. Surely it’s time for them to take responsibility and sort out the mess they’ve helped create?
You may have seen those three little letters PPI (or payment protection insurance in full) in the news again recently.
Back in August the Financial Services Authority (FSA) laid down new rules for how PPI complaints are handled. Now, just a few months later, the British Bankers Association has sought judicial review of these rules, arguing that they’re more stringent than the previous ones and that it’s unfair they have to apply new rules to old complaints.
Hmm, we would argue the rules have not actually changed. The FSA has merely set out clearly – in more prescriptive terms – what the firms should have been doing in the first place. The fact is that banks have been handling PPI complaints badly and now seem to be trying to wriggle out of implementing fair changes for consumers.
So how does this affect you?
You may have been sold PPI when you applied for a credit product of some sort – a credit card, loan or even a finance agreement for a sofa, for example. PPI is supposed to cover the debt if you fall sick or lose your job.
Here at Which? we’ve been concerned for many years that PPI is poorly designed, bad quality and frequently mis-sold. The FSA has fined over 20 firms now for failings in the sales of PPI, and various other reports and investigations conclude there are real problems in the market.
It’s yet to be officially agreed whether complaints will be put on hold during the judicial review, and it’s unlikely to receive a hearing until next year. However, our investigations have revealed that some banks are saying they will not be dealing with complaints until the review has been decided.
What to do if you’ve been mis-sold PPI
We’re encouraging people to continue to make a complaint as soon as possible by following these three easy steps:
1. Get together your credit and PPI information
2. Visit our free online complaints tool, which explains what mis-selling is and enables you to submit a complaint directly to your PPI provider
3. Always take your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service if your PPI provider rejects your complaint or does not respond with a final decision within eight weeks
Be aware that your complaint may be put on hold and remain unresolved until after the review, but it will eventually be dealt with and it is wise to get the complaint into the system while it is fresh in your mind.
We believe that banks should continue to deal with all PPI complaints. Using the judicial review as an excuse to put legitimate complaints on hold seems like a shameless attempt to duck out of giving consumers the redress they are entitled to.