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1 August 2021
The official date for a huge redress scheme worth £1.3bn for people mis-sold products by CPP has now closed, but you can still make a claim for old CPP policies.
If you think you were mis-sold either of the products before 2005, this guide will show how to complain to your bank and then escalate to the free Financial Ombudsman if you don't have any success.
Did you have Sentinel Card Protection? There was a similar redress scheme to CPP set up for customers who were flogged worthless card security insurance to cover fraudulent credit card use by Sentinel.
CPP is a worldwide financial company. It has a variety of products, but there are two specific ones, sold alongside both debit and credit cards that were mis-sold:
Card protection products: These allowed customers to call one number to have all lost and stolen cards stopped. Basically, CPP made a few phone calls for you. Plus, crucially, if your card was lost and stolen it would cancel it and cover you for fraud.
ID fraud protection: This promised to give you reports about your identity (no great shakes – you’ve a statutory right to a credit report for £2), and cover you for the risk and liability of having your identity stolen.
CPP no longer sells these policies in the UK (though it still does elsewhere). It now focuses on "card rescue" – a revamped version of card protection without the insurance element – and Airport Angel, which gives access to airport lounges worldwide.
When you got a credit or debit card, there was an ‘‘activation’’ sticker with a number to call. This was a ruse to sell you the insurance. People thought they were talking to their bank to set up a card, but it was actually CPP.
They were then told they needed £100,000 fraud protection cover; yet banks must cover fraud anyway, unless they can prove the customer was grossly negligent. In a nutshell, these major elements of the policy were virtually worthless.
It doesn’t stop there. Some people were told they couldn’t cancel, the risk of ID fraud was overstated, it hiked prices without telling people, and it auto-renewed policies with no opportunity to cancel.
Imagine that before you started reading this guide, someone offered to sell you "Martin Lewis punches you in the face insurance" against the event that because you read it, he'd find you and smack you.
Of course it's ludicrous. But, wouldn't you think "there must be a reason they're selling this insurance"? "He must've done it before. They wouldn't be selling it unless there was a tangible, manifest risk."
Now you've thought that, it starts to create a doubt. "Maybe you should get it, after all it's not that expensive, and peace of mind against being lamped on the nose is important."
Sound ludicrous? Well now turn it to a financial example, where people know less about the facts. Building fear, employing PR people to pump up ID fraud worries, helps sell policies. Millions signed up to CPP to protect against a conjured risk that sounded believable.
CPP schemes promised to insure you from card or ID fraud. PPI covers loan, credit card and mortgage repayments if you can't repay due to accident, sickness or unemployment. The two are separate. You could have been mis-sold and reclaim both.
For more information on how to reclaim PPI, read the Reclaim PPI For Free guide.
The CPP scheme was set up in January 2014 to refund anyone who bought a CPP policy – which was either card protection or ID fraud insurance – from January 2005. If you formed part of the redress scheme to get money back for those mis-sold after 2005, but weren't able to use the scheme as you didn't get a letter, you may still have a chance. We contacted the Financial Ombudsman Service and it told us the following:
If you haven’t been able to take part in the redress scheme because you didn’t have a fair chance to sort it out – for instance, you didn’t receive the letter, or you moved home and the letter went to the old address, the Ombudsman may be able to help.
If you think you should have been included or have any other concerns about the scheme, get in touch and we can answer your questions.
The scheme covered policies that were mis-sold from January 2005. But if you think you were mis-sold card or ID fraud protection from CPP or your bank before 2005, then you still have a right to reclaim your money back.
You can do this by complaining to your bank. If you've switched bank since you were mis-sold, you will need to complain to the bank that originally mis-sold you the products and have the paperwork to hand from that bank.
These things are best done in writing, but if that's too difficult, don't worry about calling. Just ask they note it down as a formal complaint, and also ask for written confirmation.
To help, we've put together a template letter to start you off - download it and fill in the blanks (use it to help start you off, but the more you write it in your own words, the better):
We don't yet know banks' attitude to these complaints. But at the start of similar past reclaiming campaigns, such as PPI, banks rejected many cases the Ombudsman later upheld.
They do this deliberately, as they know most people won't take it further. Often, the rejection sounds legally definite. Yet don't let that put you off. If you feel you were treated unfairly, or if they reject you then it just enables you to contact the independent Financial Ombudsman.
Banks have eight weeks to respond. If you're complaining to CPP directly, it's been given 16 weeks to respond. If you don't hear anything, or you're not happy with how it's dealt with your complaint, don't give up - go to the next step.
If you tried going to your bank and didn't have any success, whether or not you had a policy before or after 2005, don't assume that's the end of the matter. You have a right to take ANY complaint that's turned down to the independent Financial Ombudsman Service.
This is the official body for settling disputes between individuals and financial companies. It's a free service that acts as an impartial adjudicator. Present it with the facts, and it'll decide whether the circumstances your protection plan was sold under were unfair.
If it finds in your favour, it'll then decide what redress is required. In most successful mis-selling cases, this means a refund.
BUT it's important to note it won't look at your complaint until you've contacted your bank and given it eight weeks to respond. Once you have a response, or haven't been given one within eight weeks, only then will it be able to investigate your complaint.
To get the ball rolling, you'll need to fill in its complaints form below, which must be signed by hand and posted. Make sure you enclose any paperwork that backs up your case.
As with the first letter to the bank, which you could always copy and paste into here, don't feel you have to be formal. Explain the point clearly, concisely and honestly, all in your own words, just as if you were explaining the situation to a friend.
It's quite simple to fill in, though take care. If you need help filling this out, you can call it on 0300 123 9123 or 0800 023 4567, and it'll guide you through the claim, or use our step-by-step guide above.
It's written in Microsoft Word so you can easily cut and paste sections or print it and have it next to you as you're filling in the Ombudsman's form.
Sometimes this will take a long time. Possibly around a year, but maybe even longer as the Ombudsman deals with huge numbers of complaints - especially with the current avalanche of PPI mis-selling issues. But don't worry - you can leave the matter to the Ombudsman to resolve and it will contact you with any offers from your lender.
The Ombudsman's decision is usually made by an adjudicator. If you disagree with the result, you can ask for a formal decision to be made by one of the official ombudsmen at the service. This usually takes several months as it involves a detailed investigation, but don't be afraid to push your complaint if you think the initial decision isn't right.
After that, while the finance company must accept the Ombudsman's decision, you still have the right to take the company to court if you don't agree with the result.
It's also worth noting that if you feel the Ombudsman hasn't handled your case correctly, eg, there were unnecessary delays, you can ask for a senior manager to review it. If that doesn't resolve things, you've a right to go to the Independent Assessor (though this is only about quality of service, not the actual decision made).
For other complaints the Ombudsman can help with, see the Your Financial Rights guide.
As long as you claim within three years of knowing you could claim, there's no problem, even if the mis-selling happened a decade ago. This issue only hit mainstream news headlines in late 2012, so you should be fine.
The key here is whether you could have used the policy. If you were eligible but simply never had a need to use it, that's not mis-selling - unless you never realised you actually had the plan.
If the account holder has passed away, any monies owed become part of their estate, so the person who inherits is entitled to reclaim (let the executor know too). If there's no will, this follows the rules of intestacy (see the Gov.uk website). Yet there may be problems proving what happened at the time of the sale if only the policyholder was present.
If someone you know requires help with their finances, and they're capable to instruct you to act on your behalf, it's worth trying.
If the person has a mental health condition, or other issues that mean they didn't fully understand the product being sold, they are more than likely to have a case.
No, you have a right to complain and take it to the Ombudsman. Your bank can't put the fact you've complained on your credit file, for example.
Past Ombudsman rulings show your bank can't use this to change how it treats you, though of course, if it agrees you were mis-sold, it can end your plan (if you haven't cancelled already).
The one negative, though, is the bank will know this information when you apply for another product from it (not any other bank), and it could decide to incorporate that into its decision, but past experience shows this is unlikely.
Given the massive scale of the mis-selling uncovered by the Financial Conduct Authority, we think you've got a good case, even if the mis-selling happened before 2005.
But don't take any chances. Explain exactly how it was mis-sold, and make sure you provide evidence where necessary.
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