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Arnold Schwarzenegger fronts PPI campaign as two-year deadline begins

You have until 29 August 2019 to make a Payment Protection Insurance complaint

The UK’s financial watchdog has hired Hollywood megastar Arnold Schwarzenegger to front its Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) campaign as it fires the starting gun on the two-year deadline to make a compensation claim. 

You have until 29 August 2019 to lodge a complaint about mis-sold PPI, but today also marks the start of a new way to claim for PPI even if you were not mis-sold the insurance.

If you’ve complained about PPI in the past and had your complaint rejected, you could get compensation because the seller was earning high commission.

This comes as Which? urges people to avoid paying a fee to claims companies to help with making a claim. The consumer champion has launched a tool to help you make a complaint for free, which is supported by major UK banks and building societies.

PPI: the £27bn financial scandal

PPI is an insurance product sold alongside credit cards, loans and many other finance agreements. It’s meant to ensure that payments are made if the borrower is unable to make them due to sickness or unemployment.

But huge numbers of policies were mis-sold in the 1990s and 2000s, because the policyholders would never have been able to claim on the insurance. So far, lenders who sold this insurance to consumers have paid out an incredible £27.4bn since 2011, according to the Financial Conduct Authority.

Compensation should include the premiums you paid out for the policy, as well as annual interest of 8%.

Last week, Which? revealed that one in three consumers were unaware of the deadline to make a PPI complaint

How can I claim if I wasn’t mis-sold?

If you bought PPI and your provider didn’t mis-sell it to you, you can still claim for compensation. This is because many providers were getting paid high commission to sell the product, and not making people aware of it.

The new rules state that if more than 50% of your PPI costs were made up of commission, and you weren’t told, you’re now able to claim the difference back, plus interest.

This could affect lots of people, as PPI sales typically carried commission of 67%. You’d be able to claim back 17% (67%-50%) of the premiums you paid.

Find out more about claiming if you weren’t mis-sold

Making a PPI claim should be easier

The FCA’s advertising campaign uses an animatronic model of Arnold Schwarzenegger, which urges people to make a claim ahead of the deadline. But hiring the ‘talents’ of the Austrian Oak isn’t the only thing that has changed.

The watchdog has worked with financial companies embroiled in the PPI scandal to allow consumers to submit a complaint online, make claim forms easier to understand and to support vulnerable customers who need extra help to submit a claim.

It has also launched a free helpline on 0800 101 8800.

Time is running out: the Which? view

Alex Neill, managing director of Which? said that ‘with just two years left for consumers to claim compensation for mis-sold PPI, it is worrying that so many are unaware of this deadline, while others have been put off from claiming because they think it’s too much hassle or they don’t want to pay a fee.

‘The FCA campaign must encourage ​more people to claim, including ​previously unsuccessful claimants to re-submit their complaint due to the new Plevin ruling which has made thousands more consumers eligible for compensation. ​Consumers who were mis-sold PPI should act now – time is running out.’

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