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PPI complaints soar 40% in just six months

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) complaints rose to 1.55 million in the second half of 2017 – the highest level in four years, according to official data.

Complaints relating to PPI rose from 1.1 million in the first half of 2017, which the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) attributed to the launch of its campaign informing consumers of the August 2019 claims deadline.

It also said the 40% rise in PPI complaints was due to the Supreme Court judgment in the case of Plevin v Paragon as it opened the floodgates for claims over previously mis-sold PPI policies and because commission was earned by a provider from the sale of policies.

PPI continues to be the most complained about product, accounting for 41% of all complaints received by firms in H2 2017. In total, £2.05bn in redress was paid out to PPI complainants, representing 88% of all redress (£2.36bn) in that period. On average, mis-sold consumers received just under £2,100, down from the average £2,500 reported six months earlier.

When it comes to the time taken to handle PPI complaints, the FCA data revealed only 9% were closed within three days while 11% took longer than eight weeks.

All in all, more than 3.7 million complaints were received by 3,072 financial firms, representing a 13% (427,032) increase compared with H1 2017. Excluding PPI, the FCA said the number of complaints received in the second half of the year was broadly unchanged from the first (2.2 million). It also noted that 98% of all complaints were received by just 222 firms.

The next most complained about products were current accounts, with 509,047 complaints, down by around 10,000. This is followed by credit cards, with 314,586 complaints, up by around 5,000 complaints from H1 2017.

Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition, said: “Having set a deadline for PPI complaints, we are encouraging consumers to decide whether they want to claim, and if they do, to make their complaint as soon as possible, as many already have.

“We are continuing to monitor and challenge all firms to ensure they maintain the expected standards and are delivering on their commitments to make it easy for people to complain about PPI.

“When PPI is taken out of the mix, the numbers of complaints firms are receiving has remained stable. Firms should be doing all they can to reduce complaints and ensure they are treating customers fairly.”

See’s guide to claiming PPI for more information.

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