PPI mis-selling victims will be subject to a time-bar on claims – as we've been warning over the past few weeks – under plans revealed by the regulator this morning.
Anyone who's had a loan, credit card, mortgage, car finance or other credit agreement in the past 10 years should check NOW if they can claim. See our PPI Reclaiming guide for how to complain yourself, for free.
In our weekly email this week we also told people to be prepared for news any day that the regulator would put a bar on complaints.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will consult on implementing a two-year time-bar from the date the proposed rules come into force, which it expects will not be before spring 2016. This means those with PPI complaints would have until spring 2018 to complain.
MoneySavingExpert.com will be actively responding to this consultation. Our founder and editor Martin Lewis and Which?'s Richard Lloyd jointly wrote to the FCA earlier this year to warn against a time-bar being put in place.
The consultation results are expected to be published by the end of this year.
'PPI time-bar is anti-consumer – is FCA under political pressure?'
Martin says: "It's disappointing the FCA has chosen to put a hold on PPI reclaiming even after many warnings of the danger. How can it argue this is being done to protect consumers when the uphold rate at the Financial Ombudsman is still over 70%?
"To go to the Ombudsman you have to first complain to the bank – so it's likely banks are still wrongly rejecting claims, from over half of those who have been mis-sold.
"The question which must be asked is, is this due to pressure from George Osborne to protect Lloyds Bank, which has most to lose from continued payouts?
"The time limit itself is at least a longish one, and the FCA is choosing to do a widespread communication piece. Yet it must solve the problem of how banks deal with complaints, and ensure people aren't wrongly rejected, then ruled out.
"The urgent clarion call to consumers is if you've had a loan, credit card or mortgage in the last 10 years you should be checking now whether you had PPI on it and if so, was it mis-sold? Many people are shocked they had PPI when they didn't think so, as one way it was mis-sold was it was added even though they said no.
"Plus if you have already made a past PPI complaint that was rejected by the bank but you did not go to the Ombudsman then you should restart your complaint now. Banks have been fined for poor complaints handing – your bank rejection does not mean you weren't mis-sold."
FCA to issue rules on handling PPI commission complaints
As part of the consultation, the FCA is also planning to issue guidance and rules on how PPI complaints should be handled in light of the Supreme Court's decision in the Plevin v Paragon Personal Finance Ltd case.
PPI claims have normally centred on the product being either mis-sold or unsuitable, but the Plevin ruling in November 2014 held that Susan Plevin was treated unfairly because she wasn't told about the large amount of commission that was taken from her PPI payment (see the Court ruling could open door for more PPI claims MSE news story for more on this).
The FCA is proposing that firms assessing PPI complaints on this basis, should presume that failure to disclose commission of 50% or more being taken is unfair, and that redress is therefore due.