It’s been about five years since the British Bankers’ Association gave up its legal fight over the mis-selling of PPI, and decided not to appeal against a court challenge against new mis-selling rules.
Since then millions of people affected by PPI mis-selling have claimed compensation, costing the banks somewhere in the region of £24 billion – way above the £8 million that was estimated when the scandal broke.
And despite already having set aside around £14 billion cover the costs of PPI mis-selling, Lloyds Banking group, which owns Lloyds TSB, Halifax and Bank of Scotland, has announced it is allocating a further £2.1bn to the compensation fund to try and finally put an end to the mis-selling saga.
So if you think you may have been mis-sold PPI, here’s what you need to do…
How do I know if my PPI policy was mis-sold?
The rules around how lenders can sell PPI have changed – it can no longer be sold at the time you take out a credit card, loan or finance package (such as those you sign up for is you buy new electrical goods or furniture). In the past however, that was commonly the time PPI would be pushed.
The reason why there has been such an issue with this insurance product is that there are lots of exclusions which often weren’t explained. As a result many people paid for a policy they wouldn’t be eligible to make a claim on.
Even now, you may not be aware of whether or not you’d in fact be eligible to make a claim on your PPI policy.
It’s important to check the terms and conditions, but common exclusions include those who aren’t in work. Therefore if you were unemployed, a student, house wife/house husband or carer when you took the policy out, it won’t cover you. Also, PPI doesn’t cover the self-employed.
Some medical conditions which may prevent you from working are also commonly excluded, such as stress and back pain.
If the terms of the policy weren’t explained to you, you have a case for claiming compensation.
If you think you were mis-sold PPI on a loan, store card or credit card payments and you’re thinking about making a claim, there are two options for you to consider:
Option 1 is wait for the bank to contact you about compensation. Before the court ruling was made it was always up to the customer to make a complaint and to ask for compensation, but since the ruling last month, banks are now required to contact PPI customers who may be eligible for compensation.
The second option is to be pro-active about your claim and not wait for the bank or lender to get in touch. Write to the bank or lender and explain to why you think you were mis-sold PPI. They should then get back to you to let you know whether you have a viable claim or not.
If you haven’t heard back from them after eight weeks, or you think the bank or lender has made the wrong decision, then it may be time to take your case to the independent Financial Ombudsman Service, which has welcomed the new ruling.
You can visit the Financial Ombudsman Service website, or you can contact the service on 08000 234567.
Chief ombudsman Caroline Wayman said: “During 2015, PPI complaints finally began to approach stable levels – but we’re still seeing the volume of cases at a much higher level than many people expected.”
The Financial Conduct Authority has also recognised the need to draw a line under the scandal and has proposed giving consumers a deadline of 2018 to claim PPI redress.
So if you think you’ve been mis-sold PPI, make sure you get your claim in as soon as possible so you don’t miss out on money that’s rightfully yours.