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News

PPI Tops UK Financial Complaints Table

According to the Financial Ombudsman Service, (FOS), nearly two thirds of financial complaints last year were about payment protection insurance, (PPI). In total, the Ombudsman mediated a total of 264,375 disputes between customers and financial services companies, an increase of 26% compared with the previous year.

The policies, which allow borrowers to maintain their loan repayments if they lose their income, prompted almost 158,000 disputes during 2011, the most ever from one single financial sector. The insurance, which in many cases was bundled with a credit card or loan, was sold to thousands of customers who were not made aware that they were buying it, or who were ineligible to make a claim, which sparked one of the biggest scandals relating to missold insurance policies ever in the UK.

The Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays and RBS, arguably three of the biggest banks in the UK, set aside more than £4bn between them last year to cover compensation claims made by customers affected by missold payment protection insurance. The money was set aside after the banks lost a legal challenge against tighter rules governing the sale of PPI imposed by the Financial Services Authority.

Chief Ombudsman Natalie Ceeney is reported as saying “this has been a difficult year for many customers who have found themselves burdened by debts from claims companies and the complexity of the financial services on offer.”

About one in five of the 1.2 million initial enquiries made to the Ombudsman went on to become formal disputes. On the other hand, nearly 6,000 people put in claims that turned out to be false. This figure makes up almost 4% of the huge number of appeals heard by the FOS.

Posted by Chris White on 25 May 2012

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19 Aug 2011