A sharp jump in payment protection insurance (PPI) complaints has driven up the total amount of cases going to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

PPI Compensation Claims

 

The FOS received 55,907 complaints in the last 3 months of 2011, up by 10 % from the previous 3 months.

That was due to a 57 % jump in PPI complaints during the same time, from 19,259 to 30,301.

The FOS makes rulings on complaints that financial firms have actually failed to deal with themselves.

At 54 % of the present FOS workload, fresh complaints about PPI policies still far outstrip the other types of problem being dealt with by the ombudsman.

Credit cards, current accounts and mortgages between them accounted for just 18 % of all complaints received between October and December last year.

PPI insurance was supposed to cover loan repayments if a borrower became ill or lost their job.

But after years of campaigns by customer groups, and examinations by regulatory authorities, it became clear that several of the polices had been mis-sold, for instance to individuals who did not need them or to individuals who would never have been able to bring about a valid claim.

Problems persist

The continued volume of PPI complaints suggests that the financial industry – the main seller of this type of insurance – still has a long way to go before the PPI scandal is finally cleared up.

In the last 3 months of the year, the FOS found in favor of the customers in 68 % of the PPI cases it considered.

Although that was lower than the 92 % success rate for aggrieved customers in the third quarter of 2011, it was still higher than the 66 % success rate noted in the whole of the 2010-11 financial year.

After years of refuting that there was something wrong with the policies, or the way they had been sold, the banking industry was at long last forced to cave in last year.

In early 2011, the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) lost a High Court challenge to the demand of the Financial Services Authority (FSA) that past sales of PPI should be reviewed and that new, stricter, rules be applied to sales of the insurance policy in the future.

This meant, among other things, that 200,000 complaints that had been put on hold during the legal case now had to be dealt with, with a timeline of the end of August for paying out or declining the backlog of complaints.

With some of these claims for compensation being rejected, and fresh ones still coming in, the flow of disputes going to the Ombudsman shows no sign of letting up.

A drop in the number of these unsettled disputes in the third quarter of last year may now turn out to have been a blip.

Amongst them the big banks have actually set aside just over # 6bn to cover the cost of compensation payments to hundreds of thousands of customers.

Last year, Barclays said it would pay out on a ‘no-quibble’ basis to all customers dissatisfied by the purchase of their PPI policies, if they had lodged a mis-selling PPI claim before 20 April 2011.


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Tim Capper reports on Financial Mis-Selling for Maple Leaf Financial. Our aim is to ensure you get honest advice and proper guidance to ensure a suitable recommendation can be made to pursue a financial claim


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Tim Capper

Bringing you financial news and information in plain english for Maple Leaf Financial. My aim is to help readers understand these often complex financial instruments.