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ombudsman news

issue 142

October 2017

the final countdown

We’re already two months into the FCA’s PPI awareness campaign – which has kicked off a two-year deadline for making a PPI complaint. If you’ve seen the ad, you’ll probably agree that it’s memorable.

The FCA has estimated that 64 million PPI policies were sold in the UK between 1990 and 2010. And while not all of these would have been mis-sold, clearly there are still many people who haven’t decided whether to take action.

Text messages and phone calls from claims management companies have been a feature of the PPI mis-selling scandal. But it certainly isn’t the case that everyone who complains about PPI pays a company to do it for them. Our figures show that in about a third of the 1.5 million PPI complaints we’ve resolved so far, the people involved did it themselves. Not only that, but they were no less likely to have their complaints upheld. And of course, they didn’t lose out on any of their compensation through having to pay claims managers’ fees.

With the FCA’s deadline now in place, it’s more important than ever that we and financial businesses redouble our efforts to make it straightforward for people to raise their concerns directly. And with this in mind, in this ombudsman news we’ve highlighted the common questions we hear from people looking to complain about PPI. Charlie Sweeney, our lead ombudsman and director of casework, also explains what’s been happening at the ombudsman service since the FCA’s campaign began.

In our plans and budget for 2017/2018, we estimated we’d get 180,000 new complaints about PPI – accounting for 55% of our workload over the course of the financial year. Our latest complaints snapshot suggests this was pretty accurate – and shows a significant increase in people contacting us about PPI over the last quarter. Our own future workload will depend too on how fairly businesses handle complaints in the first place – and how thoroughly claims management companies weigh up the merits of a case before referring it to us. What’s clear is that – even though we can’t say for certain how exactly things will develop – we’ll be busy with PPI for the foreseeable future.

Our approach to unravelling complaints about mis-sold PPI, and how to put things right, is well established. However, in light of the FCA’s new Plevin rules and guidance, there’s now more to take into account. To help all the parties involved get to grips with what’s needed, we’ve recently refreshed our information about PPI on our website – and of course we’ll continue to publish our ombudsmen’s decisions.

We’ve got a strong track record of working with our stakeholders to resolve “mass” claims efficiently, as well as fairly. So I’m confident that, as the deadline approaches, everyone who decides to raise concerns about PPI will get the answer they need.

Caroline Wayman

Image: Caroline Wayman
chief ombudsman
Caroline Wayman
chief ombudsman

ombudsman news gives general information on the position at the date of publication. It is not a definitive statement of the law, our approach or our procedure.

The illustrative case studies are based broadly on real-life cases, but are not precedents. Individual cases are decided on their own facts.