Questions and Answers
Q. I now live abroad. Can I still make a claim?
A. Yes you can make a PPI claim. Your current country of residence has no relevance on our ability to lodge a Formal Complaint, if PPI was added to your finances. Full details are provided in the section British Expats and Other Nationals, on our website:
Q. I cannot recall the lenders I borrowed from, is help available?
A. The most efficient means of identifying past lenders is to conduct a credit search through one of the credit agencies. There are more than a dozen in the UK.
Experian offer a 30-day free trial and their online service is easy to setup. It only takes a few minutes to add your name, date of birth, address history and a credit or debit card account number.
You will have access to a list of many current and past lenders, along with the length of time your account has been open. You will also be provided with the addresses of lenders, should you decide to contact them.
If you cancel your agreement within 30 days of applying to Experian, then you will not be charged.
Not all lenders share financial information with Experian, therefore you may need to conduct credit searches with more than one credit agency.
This service is not available if you reside outside the UK.
Q. My account numbers are lost, can I still make a claim?
A. You do not need the account number for most lenders. The exception to this applies to Black Horse and Next the retailer, but we will provide assistance if you have finances with these lenders.
Most lenders locate your past finances using your full name, date of birth, current address and previous address history, but it must include your post codes. A ‘trawl’ of their computer systems can identify your borrowings with the lender, and their associated businesses.
Royal Mail have an excellent online service that identifies post codes; search online for Royal Mail’s Post Code Finder. The previous and next question may also be of interest and assistance.
Q. How can I locate my account numbers?
A. As noted above, you do not need the account number for most lenders.
The exception to this applies to Black Horse and Next the retailer. These lenders insist on knowing the account number. We provide assistance if you have finances with these lenders.
Most of us have a place where we keep financial records, such as a filing cabinet or a draw or cupboard. That is the best place to start. If you cannot locate past loans or credit agreements, you can review old bank statements. These may identify an originator’s number in respect of direct debits or standing orders, which a lender can use to locate your past finances.
You can also conduct a credit search as noted above.
Q. I have made a claim myself, but it has been rejected by the firm. Can you still help?
A. Yes, we can assist you but we prefer to deal with a claim from the outset.
If you received a Final Response Letter from the firm more than six months ago then the firm may decline to reopen your complaint. The Financial Ombudsman will consider cases older than six months but only in exceptional circumstances. Let us know if you are in this situation, and we will attempt to assist you.
Q. Having received a financial benefit from my PPI policy can I still claim?
A. Yes. It is possible that you paid more in premiums than was paid to you as benefits under the policy. Therefore, it is worth finding out.
If the policy did pay you more in benefits than the premiums, then you will not be any worse off financially. We do not charge a fee if this situation applies.
Q. Will PPI Advice contact me during the process?
A. We will write to you during the earlier stages, either by email or letter.
Should your claim be rejected we may need to speak to you. It is unlikely we will need to contact you by telephone as we prefer to send emails and letters. Please note all calls are recorded for training and compliance purposes.
If we need to speak to you, then we will call at a time convenient to you and will always explain why we are contacting you in this way.
Q. I cannot find any paperwork relating to either the PPI policy or borrowings. Are you able to help?
A. Yes. The bare minimum of information that we need to know in order to assist you with a claim is: the name of the lender, the amount borrowed and the credit type (loan, mortgage, credit card, overdraft, catalogue, business loan etc.)
Q. If no compensation is paid to me, do I have to pay anything?
A. No fee will be charged where you did not have PPI, or no compensation is paid to you.
In circumstances where the lender commutes the compensation payment, to reduce a borrower’s outstanding balance, we will only charge a fee based on the net amount you receive.
Q. I am facing financial hardship. If I make a claim what would happen to any compensation?
A. It depends on your specific circumstances. Generally, compensation is used to reduce any outstanding balance you have with the firm. Redress monies can also be sent to the person or firm looking after your financial affairs such as The Insolvency Service, IVA Supervisor, Debt Manager, A Liquidator, Administrator, Trustee in Settlement or similar specialist.
In practical terms it may not be in your best interests to pursue a claim as you may not receive a payment. We are willing to work on certain cases, but only if an agreement can be reached with the administrator of your financial affairs.
Q. Will making a claim impact my current or future borrowings or affect my credit rating?
A. No. Making a claim is completely isolated from borrowings and has no impact on your credit rating.
Q. How long does it take to make a claim?
A. The length of time it takes is predominantly dependent on which firm sold the PPI policy. Some complaints departments are faster than others. Processing time can be affected by whether the firm takes a pro-active approach to claims, which is not always the case.
It is important to recognise that compensation paid to policyholders is being met by either the policy seller, the insurance company who underwrote the policy, or a combination of both parties. Payments to claimants inevitably reduce a firm’s profits and do little to enhance the firm’s reputation. The regulator has to be informed every time a case is found in favour of the customer. This is not a positive message for bank bosses to discuss with their shareholders.
If your case is referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service, this will also impact on the processing time. It is worth visiting the Ombudsman website as it details their timescales and how they intend coping with the huge demand for their service of reviewing complaints.