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PPI claims flood in at twice the rate predicted as claimants told they must wait a year for their cash (article take from - This Is Money)

The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) is now telling claimants that they face waiting a year to get their money back thanks to the flood of claims. The ombudsman normally has a target of settling claims within three to six months.

A spokesman said it expects claims for 2012-13 to be twice the 165,000 predicted at the start of the year.

Payment protection insurance (PPI) is cover sold alongside credit cards and other types of loans which makes repayments if the borrower becomes unemployed. But the highly profitable policies were given the hard sell by the banking industry with many sold to those who would never be able to claim.

The FOS is currently reviewing its operations and must decide if more staff are needed to handle mis-selling claims. It has already imposed additional charges on banks because of the unique strain applied by the PPI mis-selling.

The scandal is taking a huge toll on banks as they struggle to repair their balance sheets following the financial crisis. The banks have increased the sums set aside to meet the cost of paying claims. After the last round of financial results the banks had earmarked more than £12billion.

As well as returning money that was paid in premiums for mis-sold PPI, they must also pay for staff to process claims and case fees to the FOS.

All companies that are the subject of a FOS decision on any matter must pay a £500 case fee at the end of the process, win or lose. However, an additional £350 fee was imposed this year for PPI cases, which is payable up front.
The extra money is used to fund a dedicated team of PPI case handlers which has contributed to an almost doubling of FOS staff, from 1,300 in April 2011 to 2,500 today.

Banks have complained that costs are being inflated by the involvement of claims management companies who have been known to submit claims to companies despite no policy ever having been in place.

However, the ombudsman said that these cases would be thrown out before any case fee was triggered. The service warns against the use of such firms because they take a cut of any compensation, sometimes as much as 25 per cent, when individuals can make a claim by themselves for free.

The success rate in PPI cases is higher than the average for other types of complaint and the FOS said that banks could do more to settle claims before they reach the ombudsman.
Research suggested yesterday that the eventual bill for PPI mis-selling will rise above £15billion.

Consultants at Economic Perspectives said almost £8billion has already been paid out to PPI claimants. About £4billion is awaiting payment, with a probable £2bn yet to be claimed. A further £1billion to £2billion could be paid out to claims management firms.

A startling two in nine adults have taken a PPI policy, the research claims. The average payment already received is around £2,900, excluding any payment to claims management companies.

Researchers said the windfall to consumers could eventually boost spending in the economy by £9billion. Peter Warburton, director of Economic Perspectives, said: ‘PPI payments are reminiscent of the privatisation proceeds of the 1980s and 1990s and are sufficiently large and widespread to influence the seasonal mood.

‘While spending on consumer durables, holidays and cars could account for about a third of the payouts, another third is simply being used to meet everyday expenses. Is this a bank windfall tax in disguise?’

If you think you have been mis-sold PPI or require more information – contact nCreditline Financial immediately to find out how much you might be owed.

Posted by Jay Beecher on 27 Nov 2012

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