Following an investigation by Which? and MoneySavingExpert.com, leading financial service providers have agreed to make it easier for consumers to find out about payment protection insurance.
Our PPI investigation looked at the information available to customers on the websites of leading financial providers about payment protection insurance (PPI).
Of the nine providers we checked, we found a significant variation in the quality and amount of information provided online on PPI, including how customers could complain about it, by major high-street financial services providers.
PPI investigation prompts concerns
Which? and MoneySavingExpert.com have been working with the banks to improve the access to information for consumers and leading providers have now agreed to comply with most, or all, of our checklist of information we believe every provider should have online.
Richard Lloyd, Which? executive director, said: ‘There’s much more to be done, but we are starting to see progress with the banks taking action to make it easier for their customers to get back the money they are owed if they have been mis-sold.’
So far only £3.5bn of the £9bn set aside to compensate mis-sold PPI has been given back to consumers.
Improving the PPI complaints process
Which? and MoneySavingExpert.com have agreed a number of measures to ensure banks are helping their customers resolve PPI complaints. These measures include having links from banks’ website home pages and wider publication of contact telephone numbers for help dealing with PPI issues.
Martin Lewis from Moneysavingexpert.com said: ‘The banks need to make it easier and simpler for people to claim directly from them, providing their records more easily, and clarifying basic questions.’
He added: ‘We’ve worked with them to introduce simple improvements so there is clear, relevant and up-to-date information which should end up meaning, collectively, people keep hundreds of millions of pounds more of their own cash – and that’s a winner.’
The organisations have also been working with all the major banks and credit card providers, regulators and the Financial Ombudsman Service, to help people get back the money they are owed and help to improve the PPI complaints process.
Unscrupulous claims management companies
Which? and MoneySavingExpert.com are now calling on the government to introduce tougher regulation of third party complaint handlers who charge fees for something consumers can choose to do themselves.
Mr Lloyd said: ‘We now need to see the government raise its game and speed up its plans to tighten up regulation of unscrupulous claims management companies who are exploiting consumers who just want to claim back what is rightfully theirs.’
Our recent research found that a quarter of people didn’t know that claims management companies (CMCs) took a fee, while only half knew that using a CMC would be no more successful than making the complaint themselves.
Which? regularly hears from consumers who have been successful in receiving compensation for their mis-sold PPI policies. In a recent example, an individual received £30,000 for the PPI complaints they issued with the help of our online tool.
Reclaim mis-sold PPI
If you think you may have been mis-sold PPI, use our checklist to find out if you could be eligible for compensation. If you decide to make a claim, try using our free online PPI tool to generate your PPI complaint letter. To date, Which? has helped more than 20,000 people put in a complaint for mis-sold PPI compensation.