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Screenshot of a breaking news alert e-mail from Q2 2017
UK financial regulator Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced that will soon be launching a campaign to inform people about the 29 August 2019 deadline to complain about payment protection insurance (PPI). This campaign will complement the regulatory and supervisory work we have done – and will continue to do – around PPI.
The consumer campaign is being funded by 18 firms that together receive more than 90% of complaints about the sale of PPI. These firms include banks and other providers.
The complete text of the announcement can be seen below:
Improvements and expectations
We asked these firms to make a range of improvements to the way people can complain to them about PPI, ahead of the launch of our campaign on 29 August 2017.
The improvements should make it quicker and easier for people to complain about PPI or check if they’ve had it.
They include redeveloping parts of their websites and online tools, to make it easier for people to:
- check online if they had PPI
- complain online about PPI using a simple, straightforward form
- find more information about PPI on the FCA and Financial Ombudsman Service websites
- find additional help from bodies like Citizens Advice
The improvements to their websites will also support people using assistive technology or with accessibility issues.
We have also worked to ensure that firms are offering accurate, timely and free PPI checking services, which are clearly signposted with information in a format that is easy to understand.
In addition, these firms will now offer a simplified process for people who have previously had complaints rejected but now want to make a new complaint about high levels of commission earned from the sale of PPI. This means customers don’t have to provide lots of information a second time.
Preparing for campaign launch
We have been working with firms to ensure they have the resources and systems in place to handle complaints quickly and fairly, particularly if the number of complaints they receive about PPI increases once the campaign begins. Firms have committed to using clear, straightforward language about PPI that is consistent with our communications, so that the process is as simple as possible for people to understand.
We have also checked firms’ preparations for assessing complaints on the new basis of high levels of commission earned from the sale of PPI (following the Supreme Court case often known as ‘Plevin’). We have already reviewed and challenged the commission rates and profit share sums that larger firms will be using to assess complaints about commission they earned. This is to ensure that their approaches are consistent and reasonable, and provide a fair basis for handling complaints.
What we are doing next
After the campaign launches we will collect information from firms on customer satisfaction rates and how their PPI complaints processes are working, with a particular focus on how they treat people who may be vulnerable. This is in addition to the data we already collect on the number and type of complaints firms receive about PPI, complaint outcomes and redress paid.
Over the next few months, we will be focused on ensuring that any increase in the number of complaints does not affect the quality of service consumers receive. We will be closely reviewing the operational activities at larger firms to ensure they are dealing with all PPI complaints fairly and promptly, and that they will be able to continue doing so.
We will continue to monitor and challenge all firms to ensure they maintain the expected standards and are delivering on their commitments to make it easy for people to complain about PPI. This includes reviewing and acting on feedback from consumers, consumer groups and the Financial Ombudsman Service. Where we receive information that causes us concern, we will act quickly to ensure that any emerging issues are dealt with promptly.
We expect firms to handle all PPI complaints fairly and to bring any issues which may harm consumers to our attention promptly. We will continue to take action where firms fail to do so.
We will provide further updates about our supervisory activity during the campaign, with an interim report after one year, and a final report after the PPI complaints deadline.