PPI: could you have a claim?
It’s been several years since the scandal surrounding mis-selling of payment protection insurance (PPI) surfaced and thousands of people in the UK still may be entitled to reclaim money from their bank or building society.
If you’re not familiar with the situation, take a quick look at our post PPI Explained. Financial institutions have come under fire recently for mis-selling payment protection insurance, an additional product available with credit cards and personal loans to safeguard your repayments in the event you’re unable to meet them.
PPI is supposed to cover your minimum or set monthly repayments if you are made redundant, fall ill or have another legitimately recognised reason for falling into financial hardship. However, many lenders did not properly explain the terms of the insurance when asking customers if they wanted to take out PPI, meaning they weren’t covered when they came to claim in times of need.
Even worse, because of the profit margin to be gained from selling PPI to customers, some banks simply added it onto the credit agreement being taken out without consultation, or exaggerated the importance and/or level of cover it offered to convince consumers to sign up.
If the above explanation is ringing any bells for you then you could be entitled to reclaim the money you’ve spent on PPI payments for a credit card or personal loan. In addition, you may also be able to recoup interest on that sum of money – even if it’s a credit card you no longer use or a loan you’ve since paid off.
Your first point of contact to make a PPI complaint is the lender through which you took out your credit agreement. Plenty of downloadable template letters are available on the internet and it’s important to attach copies any monthly statements or credit agreement documentation to back up the claim you are making.
In the event that the lender doesn’t respond or refutes your claim, you can contact the Financial Ombudsman free of charge to help appeal or further pursue your case.
The rise in the number of people using the Financial Ombudsman is what concerns financial advice experts, as using a third party means it can take longer to claim money that is rightfully yours.
“As the complaint levels show no sign of slowing, consumers are increasingly having to wait longer to get their complaints sorted – with many businesses still continuing to cause unnecessary delays,” Chief Financial Ombudsman Natalie Ceeney warned the BBC. “ Where businesses have shown a real commitment to better customer service and diligent complaints handling – including actively engaging with the ombudsman – cases are resolved more quickly and easily, to the benefit of everyone.
If you have contacted your bank or building society with more than one formal complaint letter regarding payment protection insurance and you haven’t received a response, or your lender promised to pay up more than eight weeks ago but you haven’t received any money (providing they haven’t stated a timeline for payment), it’s worth getting in touch with the Financial Ombudsman to receive free assistance with your claim.
You can contact the Financial Ombudsman from 8am-8pm on weekdays and 9am-1pm on Saturdays by calling Freephone 0800 023 4567 on a landline or 0300 123 9 123 on your mobile. You can also submit your case using this form. Although be aware that telephone complaints are often dealt with more quickly than those received by email.