Following an investigation by Which? and MoneySavingexpert.com leading financial service providers agree to make it easier to find out about PPI and make a complaint.
Our 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.
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. These measures to help customers include having links from banks’ website home pages and wider publication of contact telephone numbers for consumers.
This comes as part of a wider initiative, working together 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. So far only £3.5bn of the £9bn set aside to compensate mis-sold PPI has been given back to consumers.
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. 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.
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.
“We now need to see the Government to 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.”
Martin Lewis from MoneySavingExpert.com said:
“PPI reclaiming is big money for many and so people are naturally intimidated by the process and worried by small things. Sadly many unnecessarily pay £1,000s in claims management fees, when a simple question like ‘was this insurance definitely PPI?’ stumps them.
“That’s why 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. 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.”
Notes to Editor
1. ‘Claim back what’s yours’ appears in the July issue of Which? Money.