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2011: A PPI Review Of The Year

As another year slowly grinds to a halt, and as we all look forward to a week or two of relaxation, rest and eating way, way too much, now seems like an ideal time to cast our expert eye over a year that has seen more strides forward in the area of missold payment protection than perhaps any other year in history. What made 2011 such a huge year? Read on!

January. The year began with the on-going high court case between banks and the consumer groups on whether immediate refunds should be paid to consumers from the financial insitutions that initially mis-sold them the policies. On behalf of consumers, a lot of the argument came from Peter Vicary-smith, the chief executive from Which?, who claimed that ‘the judicial review is further proof that the banks are shamelessly trying to duck out of giving millions of consumers the redress they’re entitled to.’ The banks argued back that FSA estimates showed banks could well have to pay back a whopping £4.5bn should they lose the court case. The world waited with baited breath….

February…For not much to really happen, at least for the shortest month of the year. It seemed to many people at the time that the high court case had reached an almost stalemate situation, and it remained to be seen exactly where the judgement would fall. However, consumers continued to register their complaints awaiting the conclusion of the case – complaints with Lloyds (since proved to be one of the biggest offenders) were shown to have increased by 14%.

March. Again, March proved to be a fairly quiet month in the grand scheme of things, as the high court case between the banks and the consumer groups continued. However, there were further signs of what was to come, with figures showing that compensation paid by UK financial institutions to consumers had increase by 11% over the second half of 2010. The ball was beginning to roll.

April. After a few months of relative inactivity, this was when everything changed. The high court case had been dragged on for months by the financial institutions desperate to avoid paying out the money that they owed to the consumers. On the 20th April 2011, though, the court case ended, and consumers were free to claim back the money that was rightfully theirs. However, in typical bullish fashion, the banks stated that they would still refuse to handle some PPI claims until they had decided whether they would appeal the ruling. The fact that the law of repayment could be applied retrospectively meant that the billions of estimated repayments would indeed have to be repaid by the banks, assuming they also lost any potential appeal.

May. Once the dust of April had settled, it was little surprise that May was again on the quiet side – especially compared to it’s predecessor! However, the first signs of strain around the banks and financial institutions were definitely beginning to show. First it was Nationwide, who put aside a sum of £16m to cover future repayment costs. Then Sir Win Bischoff – HBOS chairman – was forced to apologise for the banks involvement in the matter. The armor was most definitely showing.

June. With the first signs of weakness showing, the FSA began to really sink it’s teeth into the financial institutions, immediately highlighting the fact that they would be keeping a careful eye out for any future scandals create to make up for the losses that the banks would soon suffer as a result of the repayments. Lloyds also began to show some damage, announcing the cutting of 15,000 jobs in order to try and save a potential £2bn over.

July: This was the month where the banks really showed their poor states, with three new chief executives being appointed, and the half year results being announced under the already existing tension of the PPI situation. With HBOS threatening to cut 10,000 jobs and Santander admitting that it had been hit for over £538 million since the payment protection scandal first broke, it was a bad, bad month for all the financial institutions. Naturally, we rather enjoyed the whole thing.

August. With deadlines having been set by the FSA for the backlog of PPI complaints to have been cleared, HSBC spent the majority of August under pressure by the institution when they announced that they had failed to meet the target. However, consumers continued to have the last laugh when it was announced that the total figure paid out in the first six months of the year by the banks was £215m. With so much more to be paid out, the banks continued to brace themselves for what was to come.

September. Once the high court case had been lost by the banks, everyone involved in PPI had expected an upturn in the amount of applications for compensation relating to PPI. What we hadn’t quite expected, however, was the sheer volume that arose. Over 10,000 arose from those associated with Which? magazine alone. With more and more consumers approaching the bank every week, that ball we mentioned earlier was well and truly steam-rollering now.

October. With the banks effectively reduced to repaying every single pound back to consumers, it was not a big surprise that in October, the knives really came out. With the competition commission moving to recommend that PPI be banned at being available on point-of-sale-payment, various protests from the financial institutions were shot down as being the actions of ‘spoilt children’ by the PPI lobbyist Sara-ann Burgess. Needless to say, we couldn’t agree more.

November. Following on from the mid-year announcements about the increase in PPI payments, we awaited the announcement about further repayments in November with a real sense of interest. We weren’t disappointed, with the total repayments having reached an astounding £776m by the end of September. Even more extra-ordinarily though, that still left over £2bn estimated that had yet to be claimed. Keep the claims coming in!

December. Needless to say, it’s been a year in which the banks were finally held to account, and in which the public finally began to obtain the money which they were so obviously owed. With over £2bn pounds still to be repaid, though, now is the time to use our PPI calculator, and find out if you too could be eligible for a refund.

A happy Christmas and a wonderful 2012 from all of us at Creditline Financial!

Posted by Shaun Edwards on 23 Dec 2011

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