If you think you’ve been mis-sold PPI (payment protection insurance), you need to move quickly as the PPI claims deadline is August 29 2019. Payment protection insurance was designed to pay your loan premiums or credit card repayments if you lost your job or couldn’t work because you were ill.
Q. Why is a deadline being imposed?
A. The financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), says that a deadline for payment protection insurance mis-selling claims will be introduced so that there is ‘finality and certainty’ for the industry (especially banks).
It also said, oddly, in my opinion, that it may encourage people to complain directly to banks rather than using claims management companies and that it may improve the efficiency of PPI complaints handling. I don’t follow the logic for this at all.
It first mentioned this idea in 2015 and, after a consultation, decided to set the date at 29th August 2018. After that you won’t be able to complain about PPI that’s been mis-sold, although you will still be able to take legal action against a bank, if you choose.
Q. How will the deadline be publicised?
A. The FCA, the financial regulator, has started its publicity campaign using (again, oddly, in my opinion!), an animatronics head of Arnold Schwarnzeneggar to publicise the deadline. You can read more about how to complain about PPI on the FCA’s website. You can also call them for help and advice (on 0800 101 8800 – Monday to Sunday from 8am until 10 pm) or do a web chat.
Q. Won’t this mean I get plagued by more PPI claims companies in the run up to the deadline?
A. I’m afraid it is possible. There are plans to impose a cap on the amount of money that claims management companies can charge, but there’s no guarantee that this cap will be in force by the time the deadline for claiming against mis-selling of PPI has been imposed.
Q. Is there a particular issue for women?
A. The regulator, the FCA, says that men are more likely to have bought PPI, but also more likely to have complained. Women in the UK are less likely than men to complain. The FCA says this is due to slightly lower financial knowledge and familiarity.
The FCA says that its publicity campaign will be effective for both women and men. It’s already been tested on women-only groups and it will re-test the publicity.
Q. What should I do?
A. If you think you may have been mis-sold PPI in the past, you should contact your bank, loan or credit card provider. Most banks and credit card providers have information on their websites about making a complaint about PPI.
SAVVY TIP: There are lots of claims management companies that will also sort out your claim – but they’ll take up to 40% of any redress you get as a fee. Some haven’t done the job they’ve been supposed to or have gone out of business.
You can make a complaint if:
- You were self employed. The vast majority of PPI policies won’t pay out if you’re self employed or on a fixed-term contract and you lose your job/work.
- You had medical problems you weren’t asked about. PPI policies rarely pay out for ‘pre-existing medical conditions’ — illnesses you’d suffered from before you took out the policy.
- You weren’t told about exclusions. In many cases, policyholders weren’t told that stress, pregnancy or back problems weren’t covered.
- You were retired or over 65 or older at the time. If you were retired you wouldn’t be able to claim on the policy in the first place and if you were aged over 65 or 70 (even if you were still in work) you might not have been covered as most policies have an upper age limit.
- You paid a commission to the company that sold you the policy that was equal to 50% or more of the premiums you were charged.
SAVVY TIP: You probably won’t know how much commission you paid, but the banks or credit card companies should know this. The financial regulator, the FCA, has told them they must write to people who were mis-sold in this way. This could mean that if your claim for compensation was turned down in the past, you’ll now be entitled to it.
You can download the SavvyWoman PPI complaints letter and you can send this letter to your bank or PPI provider.
Q. How much compensation will I get?
A. The amount of compensation will depend on the premiums you paid. But as a general rule, you should get back the premiums you paid, plus interest on the PPI premium part of the loan or credit agreement. You’ll also get statutory interest (that’s interest that the regulator says the companies must pay). That’s paid at a simple rate of 8% a year (this means the interest isn’t compounded). This is just a very rough guide. The amount you get could include other charges. You don’t have to pay tax on the PPI compensation but may have tax deducted from the interest.
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