Time already running out for millions of PPI claimants

Have you done yours?

People around the UK may think they have just under two years to finally make a claim for mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI). While this is true for the majority, for millions of others, they may already be running out of time.

Television viewers might be startled to see Hollywood action hero Arnold Schwarzenegger blaring at them to make a claim for mis-sold PPI if they can. The 70-year old actor is the star — in animatronic form, at least — of the Financial Conduct Authority’s multimillion-pound ad campaign, urging as many people as possible to make a PPI claim before the process shuts off two years from now.

Schwarzenegger, who reportedly earned £1.5m for lending his voice and image to the ad, is seen popping up out of fruit and other displays and roaring at bamboozled shoppers to “come on!” and stop putting off making a claim for the mis-sold financial product. “Bye byes to the PPI”, his likeness on a mini-tank declares, as he careens around the shop and makes his rallying cry.

Cash Call

While there is still plenty of time for people around Britain to make a PPI claim, many others may find that time is very much against them.

That’s because they’re under an earlier deadline, imposed by the banks and other financial institutions that sold them PPI alongside loans, mortgages, credit cards, vehicle financing and other financial products. This is due to these firms having contacted customers believed to be around 5.5m of them — in writing and offering a cash payment for PPI they sold to them.

Those were called redress letters, but others were just contact letters advising customers that they must make a claim for mis-sold PPI within three years of the letter’s date.

Despite the FCA deciding to impose its own deadline earlier this year, giving people until August 2019 to make a PPI claim, the financial watchdog has confirmed that the earlier deadline on the contact letters is valid and stands.

It is believed that of the millions of redress and contact letters sent out by the banks, building societies, credit card firms and other providers, only 30 per cent of people responded to them. That potentially leaves millions of people having to make a claim for PPI well before the FCA deadline currently being advertised, almost a year shorter, in most cases.

Speedy Settlements

People can go ahead and make a claim on their own, by directly contacting their bank or other financial institution that sold them PPI with a financial product. Alternatively, they can use the route of the majority of people making such claims.

That’s by using the services of a claims company, one that typically uses such advantageous tools as claims management software to deal with high caseloads and have claims settled as quickly as possible, rather than doing it all manually and taking forever.

Meanwhile, there are still many millions of other people around the UK who have yet to claim for PPI. Altogether, 64m PPI policies were sold, but there have only been 12 million successful claims, while 4 million have been rejected.

Refunds and compensation from the big banks and other financial providers to date amounts to a gargantuan £27.7bn.

With the FCA’s new, lucrative ad campaign, the financial firms are steeling themselves for a fresh wave of claims and have put aside a further £37bn to deal with them, moves that are wobbling financial balance sheets and pushing some deep into the red.

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