Banks are eagerly awaiting the PPI deadline

Posted: 21st February 2017 & filed under PPI

The PPI scandal has been a topic of controversy for the past few years, with many people affected by the massive scandal. It is still consistently the most complained about financial product by far.

However, only 25% of people who are owed a refund for mis-sold PPI are thought to have actually claimed and received their rightfully owed money.  Proposing a deadline would therefore seem to be somewhat premature. However, the prospect of a deadline being put in place is obviously very appealing to banks, who will potentially be saving a large amount of money as they will not have to repay the masses of customers who are owed PPI refunds.

In fact, it has been suggested by the campaign group Payback Time that banks are expecting to save as much as £23 billion in unpaid PPI refunds. This very substantial figure not only explains why banks have been so eager for the deadline to be enforced, but also highlights just how much money is still owed to unsuspecting clients.

Financial experts have also suggested that banks are in a reasonably desperate situation regarding their capital, and the PPI deadline will give them an opportunity to rebuild their assets at an earlier convenience.

With the banking industry having reason to be eager for the deadline to be enforced, as well as the economy to consider, it has been discussed that the deadline will be confirmed this year, and will be enforced in June 2019. To make sure that as many people as possible receive the compensation they deserve before the deadline, an advertising campaign worth £42 million has been organised to be launched for the 2 years preceding the deadline.

If you have reason to believe that you are one of the many people still owed a refund for PPI, it is highly advisable that you should act quickly, given that banks and the financial industry are gearing up for the deadline being confirmed.

It is now more important than ever to check if you are owed a large sum of money. Many people have been refunded thousands of pounds after having paid unknowingly for PPI policies which were not beneficial to them, you could be one of the victims.

All you have to do to get the process started is complete a free check, for which you will only have to provide your name, current address, date of birth and select the relevant lenders that you have previously borrowed from in the form of a loan, credit card or mortgage. Following this, we will be able to send you the pre-filled forms for you to simply add your signature. Don’t worry, we do not need any account numbers. 

With the deadline in sight, don’t delay starting the process, check today to see if you could receive a large PPI refund.

PPI problems is still the top financial complaint

Posted: 10th February 2017 & filed under PPI

The PPI scandal is well known to be one of the most problematic financial issues to aggravate banks’ clients in the UK. Complaints surrounding the issue are still topping the charts as the most complained about financial matter by far.

Reports published by the Financial Ombudsman suggest that PPI has been the most complained about product of the last quarter of 2016. A total of 70,908 complaints were reported and 36,065 of these were new cases regarding PPI. This means that over half of the total number of complaints received in the financial industry were to do with PPI.

The figures published by the Financial Ombudsman service highlight the magnitude of the PPI issue, and they also reflect the amount of customers who have experienced problems with the PPI product.

Not only this, but the figures also show that 44% of complaints related to PPI were upheld in favour of the consumer. This is a large amount of accepted complaints in comparison to the financial industry average, which is 37%.

PPI was not only the most complained about product in the last quarter of 2016, but it was also the most complained about product in the three months previous to that, when the Financial Ombudsman reported that 42,907 new cases were opened.

However, despite the staggering amount of PPI issues reported and claimed for, it has been suggested that less than 25% of people owed refunds for mis-sold PPI have actually reclaimed the money they are rightfully owed. This means that there are still an even larger number of clients who are still yet to claim.

It has also been reported that older people, between the ages of 46 and 65 make up for the largest proportion of PPI complaints; in fact, this age group accounted for 71% of all complaints. In contrast, the younger generation aged 25 and below accounted for the least amount of PPI complaints, making up for just 2% of the complaints opened regarding PPI.

With a possible spring 2019 deadline to make a claim, it is to be expected that PPI complaints will continue to be one of the most complained about issues for the next few months, as clients realise the importance of claiming their rightfully owed money before they are unable to do so.

If you believe that you may be owed a PPI refund, it is highly important to find out whether you can make a claim as soon as possible.

The process is very easy; you can start by beginning your free check today to see if you are owed PPI.

The only information you will need to provide is your name, date of birth and address and we will send you the pre-filled forms to simply add your signature. Don’t worry, we will not need any account numbers. 

Start your free check today and see if you could receive a refund which could be a large sum of money!

Common PPI questions answered

Posted: 8th February 2017 & filed under PPI

Despite having been a newsworthy topic for years, PPI still remains to be a topic of mystery for many. It is for this reason that many people are still owed money for being mis-sold PPI, and are left unaware that they could receive a reimbursement which could run into thousands.

Here, we attempt to answer some of the common questions regarding PPI and where you stand in regards to making a claim.

  • What is PPI?

PPI stands for payment protection insurance. In principal, it is an insurance policy which covers repayments on loans, store cards, credit cards and mortgages in the event that a client would be unable to meet their repayments due to circumstances such as death, loss of employment, or illness.

  • What counts as mis-selling?

There were many cases of mis-selling during the height of the PPI scandal, due to a large amount of pressure being enforced on employees to sell the product. Tactics which were employed to sell the product wrongly included:

  • Putting an immense amount of pressure on the client to purchase PPI.
  • Telling clients that purchasing PPI would increase their chances of their loan being accepted.
  • Telling clients that PPI must be purchased alongside a loan.
  • Adding PPI onto bills without the client knowing about it.
  • Selling PPI to a person who would not be eligible to claim under any circumstances, e.g. an individual would not be able to claim if they were self-employed or had an illness at the time of taking out the insurance.
  • Being sold PPI which did not suit the customers’ circumstances, for example it was valid for a time scale different to that of the loan.

If the above reasons do not apply to your situation, but you still feel as though you were mis-sold PPI, you may still have grounds to reclaim your money.

  • Are there any time limits for making a PPI claim?

Generally, a claim made within 6 years after being mis-sold PPI is a simpler process than making a claim after a longer time frame. However, time limits vary from case to case. If you are unsure as to whether you can still make a claim, it is a good idea to start your claim as soon as possible to ensure that you have the best chances of receiving your repayment.

In regards to the overall time limit, the banking industry are very keen to put a deadline on all claims, and Spring 2019 is considered to be the likely date.

  • How much money could I claim back?

Generally speaking, there is no specific amount of money which can be specified as to how much you will be able to claim back, as it all depends on the individual circumstances. However, usually the larger your loan or credit card balance, the larger your PPI refund will be. On average, the usual claim amount will be around £3,000, but customers can be refunded much more if it’s applicable.

  • How do I check if I can claim?

If you think you may be owed a refund for being mis-sold PPI, it is important to check if you can make a claim as soon as possible. You can start this process by filling out our free check; all you need to provide is your name, address and date of birth and we will be able to send you the forms for a full check to be carried out. Don’t delay; start the process today and you could receive a large repayment!

“After successfully claiming back thousands of pounds I can guide you through the PPI process”

Posted: 3rd February 2017

A few years back when my spouse and I were contemplating moving to a bigger house we turned to a bank for a mortgage loan. The bank official mentioned about an insurance but did not divulge much information about it. Years later, I met a friend who had just reclaimed thousands of pounds in PPI compensation and as the conversation progressed I realised I too might have been a victim of the mis-selling scandal.

My immediate response like most of us was to research on the internet. The amount of information available on the subject online was overwhelming. After successfully claiming back thousands of pounds myself I am now in a position to guide you through the entire process.

What is PPI?

PPI stands for payment protection insurance. As the name suggests, this insurance covered borrowers who were unable to repay their loans due to a change in income caused by unemployment, injuries, illness or death. It was sold alongside loans of many types such as credit cards, store cards, cash loans, mortgages etc.

PPI has been in the news for a long time and not for the right reasons. The statistics are staggering, with millions of people being potentially affected by this scandal and banks setting aside billions of pounds for compensation. If you have borrowed money from financial institutions in the last decade, then chances are high that you too could have been mis-sold a PPI policy just like I was. I remember feeling anger and confusion when I realised that I was mis-sold PPI.

Why was PPI mis-sold by banks?

PPI was meant to be a policy purchased at the sole discretion of the consumer. But unlike most of the insurances which offered cover at lower costs, PPI was overly expensive and hence more profitable for a bank. The premium often increased the loan amount by 20% with some going over 50%.

After that, because it was so profitable for banks, bank employees were pushed to sell more and more PPI policies to customers. Incentives were given to those who sold the most policies. Many bank employees testified as being under immense pressure to deliver and those who failed to sell the policy were put on performance review. This resulted in employees resorting to hard selling tactics and often using unfair means to make a sale. Many exploited the fear of their customers by making them think of the consequences of not being able to repay their loans.

How can someone spot mis-sold PPI?

If you are expecting to receive a confession letter from the bank, then you are going to be disappointed as I found out to my annoyance. Unless you hire a claims company, you will have to do a lot of investigation and gather enough evidence to convince the bank that you were indeed mis-sold the policy. My research revealed three ways how this insurance was mis-sold;

  • The PPI came with terms and conditions or a set of requirements that had to be fulfilled so that a borrower could claim for compensation. For example, the insurance does not cover individuals that were unemployed, self employed, retired or suffering from an illness at the time of purchasing the policy. So if you fell into any of these categories and had a PPI policy then it should not have been sold to you in the first place.
  • PPI was sold to one of my friends without his knowledge. It was only when he checked his bank statements he realised that he was making payments for a PPI policy the entire time.
  • I have also heard of occasions where a salesperson deceived the borrowers into buying this insurance by providing them false information. They were told that this policy is compulsory or that buying it will increase their chances of being granted the loan.

How could someone claim?

If you believe there is a chance that you have been mis-sold PPI, then there are two things you can do to make a claim. You can either file for a claim yourself or hire the services of a claim management company. While both have their own benefits the claimant must make a well-informed decision. When I tried to make a PPI claim myself I found that the entire process was tedious and time consuming. Banks are not in any hurry to pay up the compensation amount and therefore try to stall as much as possible hoping that a claimant might lose hope or just get bored by the process and give up. It’s here that I found that hiring a claim management company can save all the troubles of the lengthy paperwork and follow ups required to make a successful claim.

Also, When I first applied for a PPI claim the refund amount the bank was willing to offer was much lower even according to my estimates. Then I read a report which stated that as many as 2.5 million PPI claims were undervalued and had to be put up for re-investigation. It was then that I decided to hire a claims company to assist me in determining the actual amount I was owed and to file a claim on my behalf.

What is a PPI claims company?

A claims management company handles the entire process of filing a claim on behalf of its client. A claims company that specialises in PPI claims can be referred to as a PPI claims company. iSmart have operated in the PPI claims industry for over 10 years. Because of their standing in the industry they are only required to submit a name, date of birth and address. Once the banks have this information they’re able to access their database and determine if any PPI was added onto any finance that customer may have taken out. They don’t need account numbers which is a major benefit if you no longer have your paperwork and the check is COMPELTELY FREE.

Who was the biggest mis-seller of PPI?

Lloyds bank were responsible for the largest number of mis-sold PPI policies. According to reports, since 2001 as many as 34 million PPI policies could have been mis-sold. These policies have been estimated at £50bn. Lloyds banking group is responsible for selling approximately 40% of the policies which accounts for £20 bn.

What is the Financial Ombudsman?

The Financial Ombudsman is a body set up by the government. It is responsible for solving disputes between financial organisations and consumers. The organisations within the purview of the FOS are insurance companies, investment firms, banks, finance companies, money transfer operators and financial advisers. The Financial Ombudsman intervenes only after the consumer has unsuccessfully tried to resolve the dispute with the concerned financial organisation.

What does a PPI claims company do?

Many people are reluctant to file a claim through a claims company and I believe a major reason for that is a lack of awareness about what a claims company does.

A PPI claims company works on behalf of the customer not the bank and firstly determines if PPI has been mis-sold. For those who have borrowed loans on multiple occasions, the number of policies is taken into consideration. They ensure that they have all the information they may possibly require in the process of making the claim.

A PPI request is then raised with the lender and they are given 40 days to return with all relevant information they have on their client. If the banks respond by saying ‘No PPI found’ then it is possible that the PPI policy has been cancelled within a short duration of the purchase. In such cases it is certain that the customer has not made any payments for PPI and hence is not entitled to any compensation. If the claims company does not receive a response from the bank, then the issue is raised with the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).      

How can I make a claim myself?

If you are certain that you have valid grounds to make a claim, you are probably wondering about what is involved in the actual process of making a claim!

If you intend to do it yourself then you should follow the steps given below:

  • Search for all the documents which show that you have made payments for the policy. Make several copies of those documents.
  • Various templates of a complaint letter are available with the banks and on websites. Using those templates you can write a complaint letter to the financial institutions which granted you the loan.
  • Determine the amount of refund that you are entitled to claim. The refund amount should include all PPI payments made by you along with a compensation set at 8% of the refund amount.
  • If you do not get a response from the bank or find their offer to be unfair then you should escalate the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Why is it beneficial to claim using a PPI claims company?

There is a lot of information available on the internet which will make you believe that filing a claim yourself is more beneficial and that can be true but not always. The paperwork required by the banks left me tired and perplexed. It is worth noting that few cases can be more complex than the rest as calculations of the refund amount can be quite tricky. It involves many variables such as the duration for which the loan was held, premium payments made and the statutory compensation. There have been instances of banks undervaluing the refund amount thus adding to the hassles of the claimant.

Another advantage of a PPI claims company is that most have adopted a ‘No-Win-No-Fee’ strategy. If the client is not awarded with compensation, then they are not obligated to pay fees to the claims company. If you are extremely busy then a claims company can save you a lot of time.

The financial Ombudsman cannot intervene in cases which are prior to 2005. In such matters the client will be required to present his case before a judicial court. This process can be handled properly by a professional claim company.

In my opinion the fees charged by the claims company is worth paying especially in my case as it saved me a lot of time and effort and most importantly got me the compensation amount I deserved. I would highly recommend iSmart.

Lloyds Banking Group Continues to Lose faith of Clients

Posted: 2nd February 2017

Founded in 1769 Lloyds Bank is one of the most predominant banks across the UK, named as one of the ‘big four clearing banks’. Considered to be a highly reputable company, Lloyds is the most extensive retail bank across Britain, with numerous banks based across every part of the UK.    

It is commonly known that Lloyds Bank was one of the main culprits involved in the PPI scandal. This quickly caused many clients to lose faith in the bank, and since this scandal Lloyds bank has failed to recover the situation in an appropriate manner. Causing more problems for clients and continuing to breach fundamental precedents.  

PPI was wrongfully added onto clients’ payments for bank loans, credit cards, store cards and mortgages. PPI was mis-sold to many customers via wrongful tactics, such as telling the customer that the loan would only be approved if PPI was added, or that PPI being added would make the loan more likely to be accepted. In some cases, PPI was added on to customers’ payments without them even knowing it.  

Having recently been analysed by ‘Watchdog’, it has been said that Lloyds have committed ‘serious’ breaches over PPI policies, being the lender which mis-sold most PPI policies in the UK.  

It has been found by the Competition and Markets Authority that Lloyds have failed to contact hundreds of customers regarding their annual statements over the last five years, a requirement for banks. This particular breach could be an attempt to avoid highlighting to customers that they had PPI mischarges therefore preventing customers from claiming back the money which is owed to them. In some cases, Lloyds have delivered incorrect information to their clients, and in other cases had overcharged customers.  

It has recently been considered by the Financial Conduct Authority that they should impose a two-year limit on PPI claims, with a deadline of mid 2019 for all claims. During this consideration, the continuous and numerous breaches of rules and regulations carried out by Lloyds Bank were discovered, and therefore the deadline is still being decided on, and the decision is due to be made in the first quarter of this year.  

With a deadline for PPI claims possibly on the horizon, it is highly advisable to research your finances, ensure that you know exactly where your money is going, and look into the possibility that PPI could have been added onto your bills without your knowledge or approval. It could even be the case that you have missed out on annual statements, or been given incorrect information 

If you are unsure if you qualify for a refund for mis-sold PPI, it is important to find out if you are owed any money before the deadline is applied. You can start this process by conducting a free PPI check. You don’t need any account details just complete the free check online form and you will receive the relevant forms to sign free by post, simply provide your name, date of birth and the address of where you lived at the time of the loan and return the forms and you could receive a large repayment. 

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