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Former Lloyds boss defends PPI

The former boss of Lloyds Banking Group on Thursday has defended the sales of payment protection insurance, which has cost the bailed bank £5.3bn in provisions.

Eric Daniels, whose tenure at the top of Lloyds ended in February 2011, told MPs on the banking standards commission that while he was “deeply regretful” for those policies which were mis-sold, he believed the majority of the products had been sold correctly.

Instead he said there had been a “difference in understanding” between the banking industry and the Financial Services Authority which had made changes to the required sales process for the policies that were supposed to cover loan repayments in the event a customer lost their job or became ill.

“We thought we were on the side of the angels,” said Daniels in reference to compliance with FSA rules. “We were responsible,” he said.

He insisted that PPI – which Lord McFall claimed had an 87% commission rate – had not been highly profitable when assessed alongside the loans with which it had been sold.

“It (the profitability) was lower than most of our products,” said Daniels.

McFall asked Daniels if he had forced out his successor as retailng banking head Peter Ayliffe after 18 months because Ayliffe had raised concerns about PPI. Daniles insisted this was not the case. Ayliffe, now head of Visa, “left on a voluntarily agreement”.

While scripts shown to customers on screen had been adequate until 2008, the FSA had then required proof that customers had been verbally informed about PPI as well, Daniels said.

Daniels had £580,000 of his 2010 bonus clawed back after his successor Antonio Horta-Osorio called a halt to an industry-wide dispute over PPI and took the first of a series of provisions which have now reached £5.3bn – more than any other bank. Daniels was later denied a £1.2m bonus for intergrating Lloyds with HBOS, the rescue takeover he oversaw.

Asked by Andrew Tyrie, the conservative MP who chairs the commission, how many policies had been mis-sold, Daniels quipped “200% judging from the number of claims”.

Bogus claims had been paid out in some cases because banks could not handle claims in the timescales set out by regulators.

He ran Lloyds retail bank from 2001 before being promoted to chief executive in 2003.

He said: “We believed we were solving a fundamental customer need”.

If you think you have been mis-sold payment protection insurance call Creditline Financial on 01733 393399 and speak to our team to discuss your potential claim.

Article taken from – The Guardian

Posted by Jay Beecher on 18 Feb 2013

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