The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced the final deadline for reclaiming missold Payment Protection Insurance (PPI). Those who believe they were missold PPI but have yet to seek compensation must make their claim by 29th August 2019, or their money will be lost.
PPI has undoubtedly been the biggest banking scandal of recent years, with the five biggest banks in the UK setting aside £35 billion for repayments and compensation. Millions of people were sold PPI policies that were inadequate, unnecessary, or outright useless without being properly informed. Those who paid out for such a policy are entitled to have their money refunded in full and with interest. While banks have paid out billions of pounds to millions of claimants already, the FCA has revealed that as many as four out of every five relevant PPI policy holders may not have checked whether they are entitled to a refund.
The announcement of the deadline was expected, and it was widely predicted that the cut-off point would be around the time which the FCA has now set. Being expected has not prevented the decision from being a controversial one however. Consumer advocates have criticised the idea of introducing any final deadline for reclaiming PPI. They claim this pardons the banks’ misconduct and allows them to keep the remaining funds gained through misselling, especially as estimates suggest that a relatively small portion of those who were missold PPI have yet claimed their money back.
Which? director of campaigns Vickie Sheriff said that “it has been clear for years that the banks should be working much harder to resolve PPI claims fairly.”
She continued: “Now the regulator has confirmed a deadline for the victims of this misselling scandal to make a claim, it must ensure that banks are doing much more to help customers get back the money they are owed.”
There are also concerns that setting a deadline within the next couple of years will prompt the less reputable breed of claims companies to step up activities such as nuisance calling and unsolicited text messages, potentially trapping many consumers into excessive fees or outright scams. In this climate, it will be all the more important to choose the best PPI claims company and, in particular, to avoid companies that approach you first and promise huge payouts before they have even assessed your situation.
The FCA says that it believes that the time before the deadline be sufficient to give those who have not yet claimed adequate opportunity to do so. The regulator says it will run a two-year advertising and awareness campaign to ensure people are aware of the deadline and are prompted to take action before it is too late.