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Banks face a new £5bn PPI bill: Flood of new claims on its way triggered by High Court ruling

In an unscheduled announcement to the stock market, RBS revealed it had made a £500m provision, taking its total costs for the scandal to £4.3billion.

Spanish-owned Santander also said in its annual results that it has put aside another £450million to compensate customers mis-sold payment protection insurance, taking its total cost to £1.52billion.

Experts warned other banks will follow suit over the coming weeks.

Analysts at Investec predict Lloyds could be forced to make another £2.5billion provision, having already set aside £13.9billion, while Barclays could make another £1billion provision, having booked a £6billion charge already.

HSBC is expected to take a fresh hit of up to £500million, topping up its £2.63billion provision.

The new round of payouts follow City watchdog order that banks must compensate customers for secret commission charges on PPI policies. It follows a High Court victory by widowed college lecturer Susan Plevin.

She was not told that almost £4,200 of the £5,780 she paid out in PPI premiums was commission paid to the lender, Paragon Financial Services, and the broker that sold her the £34,000 loan.

The court ruled in November 2014 that this breached the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

The ruling has serious implications for Britain’s biggest banks, which pocketed large commissions for selling PPI policies through branches or paid brokers to sell their products.

A controversial two-year time bar on PPI mis-selling complaints is also set to be introduced in the spring, with the final deadline likely to fall in 2018.

This will be accompanied with a major national advertising campaign – paid for by the banks – which is expected to generate a fresh wave of complaints.

Richard Lloyd, executive director of consumer group Which?, said: ‘News of these staggering new provisions for PPI mis-selling from the banks clearly show just how many consumers are yet to be compensated.
If a time bar is to be introduced, banks must redouble their efforts and prove their customers are receiving fair and speedy compensation.’

The mounting bill for RBS over PPI is just part of a fresh £2.5billion clean-up bill announced by the bank yesterday.
Chief executive Ross McEwan confirmed it is now on course to register its eighth consecutive annual loss when it publishes its results at the end of the month.

The bulk of the misconduct charges – or £1.5billion – covers mis-selling toxic bundles of US mortgages before the financial crisis.

It has set aside £3.8billion so far to cover settlements, although the final figure is likely to be much higher. It has yet to tuck away money for investigations by the US Department of Justice or other agencies.

RBS said it had written off £498million from the value of its private banking arm Coutts as it expects the business to continue to struggle.

Tougher accounting rules means it will also have to book a £1.6billion charge to plug a black hole in its final salary pensions scheme. This will not affect its profits and will be included in its financial accounts this year.

Shares in RBS fell 5.2p to 255.7p yesterday, in a setback for Chancellor George Osborne who had hoped to sell more of the state’s 73 per cent stake later this year. Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: ‘This bank continues to be a millstone around taxpayers’ necks.’

Article taken from – This Is Money

Posted by M Carey on 29 Jan 2016

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