Time-Bar on complaints
The British Bankers Association (BBA) has once again sought a time-bar in respect of mis-sold PPI policies. The Financial Conduct Authority, the organisation that regulates lenders, has agreed to impose a time-bar from 29th August 2019.
A final decision has been reached, and already Consumer Campaigners are arguing against the move. The time bar has been introduced and it will prohibit new mis-sold PPI complaints being lodged after the 29th August 2019.
The Financial Conduct Authority has awarded the banks, and other lenders, a reprieve from new PPI complaints. The end date for new complaints will be 29th August 2019 after which time you can no longer make a complaint that PPI was mis-sold, even if it was mis-sold.
Average compensation payments are approximately £2,000 per claim, according to the Financial Conduct Authority, so individuals are potentially going to miss out on sizable awards. If you have ever been issued with a credit card, set up a loan or arranged an overdraft then you may want to start the mis-sold claims process now, rather than later. We foresee a dramatic increase in the number of claims being brought. This could lead to delays and backlogs in the bank’s complaint department. Also, the Financial Ombudsman Service may experience an increase in complaint numbers, and be similarly affected.
Those wanting professional assistance from PPI specialists should visit the section ‘I Want To Claim’. To receive the forms by email, or in the post, click on the blue button, or select ‘I want To Claim’ from the dropdown menu.
Main culprits for the scandal, British Banks, want to avoid paying compensation to customers who were mis-sold the insurance. PPI paid large sums in commission to sellers, regardless of whether the cover was needed by unsuspecting borrowers. Whilst it is natural for lenders to protect their huge profits, they should also be keen to ensure affected consumers are recompensed for their financial loss. But it seems the Banks are no longer concerned about righting the injustice; blame for which lies at their front door. Potential savings for the banking industry could amount to tens of billions, with one reported figure it could be as much as £33,000,000,000 (£33bn). This is compensation, owing to those who have suffered financial loss, being withheld from them.
The British Bankers Association made a similar attempt, to end further PPI claims, in January 2013. At that time the Regulator had a different leader, Mr Martin Wheatley, who did not impose a time-bar. During 2013 in excess of £5.3billion was paid to victims, a further £4.07billion was paid in 2014. Between January and December 2015, the total compensation in respect of PPI was in excess of £4.47billion.
In 2017 the total of compensation paid to people who were mis-sold PPI amounted to £3,623,000,000
During 2018 a further sum of £4,434,600,000 was paid in compensation in respect of mis-sold PPI policies. This does not include all lenders, so the total amount of refunds paid to all claimants is far higher. Details of the amount of compensation paid by smaller lenders is not disclosed on a regular basis.
Since January 2011 the total compensation paid to innocent victims is £36.8 billion. We believe the total amount of compensation will now increase at a faster rate, as more victims realise they must make a claim or lose out financially.
We contend there are numerous reasons why a time-bar would be inappropriate, as undernoted:
- banks and other lenders mis-sold PPI policies for over forty years, so it is only right that consumers are given plenty of chance to make a claim, rather than be herded into a panicked rush for justice
- firms are receiving record fines as a result of their poor service in relation to PPI complaints handling, a time limit will worsen progress
- administration departments, dealing with the bank’s complaints, are still advising consumers that their claim is ‘rejected’ but the Ombudsman is then overturning many of those decisions
- the Financial Ombudsman Service, an independent arbitrator, is quoting ‘up to two years’ to deal with fresh PPI complaints, so a stampede, of new complaints, is likely to inflame the situation and delay matters even longer
- the longer banks are processing mis-sold PPI claims, the safer borrowers are, as it will focus minds on avoiding a repeat of the scandal
- the Banking Industry should not escape paying billions of pounds in compensation to people who are entitled to redress
Precedence was set for the time-barring of complaints by the Life Assurance Industry. During the eighties and nineties, millions of endowment-linked mortgages were sold, however, by the millennium it had become evident that these policies would not be sufficient to repay the mortgages they supported. Shortfall letters were sent to warn policyholders of this issue. The Life Assurance Industry also acted to limit the window of opportunity in which complaints could be made in relation to endowment linked mortgages. By 2008 virtually all future complaints were time-barred. As a consequence the Life Assurance Industry escaped paying billions of pounds in compensation to policyholders.