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Banks Face Fresh £5bn PPI Mis-Selling Bill

Sky News has learnt that executives at the major high street lenders are to announce huge new provisions in their annual results over the next few weeks that will take the total cost of the scandal to well over £30bn.

Insiders said that Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Royal Bank of Scotland and Santander UK were likely to announce a combined new bill of at least £5bn alongside their results for 2015 – on top of around £27bn they have already absorbed.

The exact numbers are still being finalised by bank officials and their auditors, but sources close to several banks said the next wave of mis-selling provisions would be among the biggest so far.

The eventual number could be even higher than £5bn, according to some sources.

Bank bosses are keen to draw a line under the PPI affair, which has escalated over the last five years into the costliest in UK banking history, and are trying to estimate how many consumers will submit claims once a huge publicity campaign gets under way.

Lloyds Banking Group, the UK’s biggest high street bank, had a market share of around half of all policies sold, implying that it could set aside a further £2.5bn when it reports results next month.

Lloyds has already been forced to take a £13.9bn hit from PPI, and the latest charge – which will be an estimate, rather than a verified final total – would therefore take its bill to more than £16bn.

Lloyds has also been fined a more modest sum by the City regulator for the way it handled PPI-related complaints.

The other big banks have all also had to pay out billions of pounds over the scandal, with industry sources confirming that they were all expected to seek to interpret the impact of the FCA’s proposed deadline in their 2015 results.

Under the FCA plan, which has yet to be finalised, consumers would have until the spring of 2018 to claim compensation over PPI.

Bank executives have, however, also warned that the implications of a case brought by Susan Plevin – which centred on a company’s failure to disclose to her a large commission payment on her PPI policy – could be catastrophic for the industry.

Analysts at Autonomous Research, which is chaired by the former City Minister Lord Myners, projected last year that banks could face a separate £33bn bill if the Plevin judgement was extended to other financial products.

The FCA has said that a 2018 deadline for PPI complaints would also apply to those associated with the Plevin ruling.

Banks have been lobbying the FCA to reduce the two-year deadline to a 12-month period, although a decision to accede to that request would pile more political pressure on the embattled regulator.

Consumer groups have lobbied against a time-bar, arguing that it would risk depriving customers of legitimate redress.

None of the banks contacted by Sky News would comment on Saturday.

Article taken from – Sky News

Posted by M Carey on 25 Jan 2016

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