PPI mis-selling complaints surge as scandal lumbers on

Britain’s biggest mis-selling scandal is still alive and kicking, as payment protection insurance (PPI) complaints to the financial ombudsman surged at the end of 2019. 

PPI is meant to pay out to people who get ill or lose their job, but around 64 million policies were mis-sold between the 1970s and late 2000s. 

The deadline to bring claims to banks was 29 August last year, but consumers have an extra six months to file secondary cases to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) about the way banks handled their original complaint.

The FOS said it received 41,500 of these cases in the last three months of 2019, a 72pc increase on the quarter before. It has now logged more than two million such cases.

However, the FOS did not side with the consumer in many of these secondary PPI cases. The ombudsman upheld just 17pc of PPI complaints in the last quarter of 2019, compared to an average of 34pc across all financial deals.

The six-month deadline to bring complaints to the FOS should be at the end of this month, but consumers will have far longer.

This is because customers have six months to complain from the point their bank or PPI mis-seller gives them a final decision.

Banks are swamped with PPI cases and many have warned they will not be able to make final decisions until the summer of 2020, even for cases filed by August 2019.

That means the FOS will be handling cases until the end of 2020. A FOS spokesman said these cases could extend into 2021.

Caroline Wayman, of the FOS, said: “There has never been another complaints issue on the same scale as PPI, and the volumes of complaints made to financial businesses around the deadline last August were truly unprecedented.”