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PPI Claims: The Story So Far

Payment protection insurance, designed to repay loans, mortgages, and credit cards for one year when a borrower gets sick or becomes unable to pay, has become the biggest taboo word in the last decade. With over half the UK’s population mis-sold through unscrupulous lender’s tactics, the scandal has reached up to £40 billion since 2009, the year consumer groups and the Financial Services Authority (now Financial Conduct Authority) had made the scandal public knowledge.

The FCA has declared August 29, 2019 as the last day to reclaim refunds from banks in March 2017. Despite the protests of consumer groups and a failed lawsuit a claims management company pursued, the deadline is pushing through.

Supplementing the PPI scandal’s impending end is an FCA and bank-sponsored public service advertising campaign featuring the voice and disembodied head of Arnold Schwarzenegger telling UK consumers and citizens in different situations to make a claim and “do it now.”

The advertising campaign has been relatively successful. The commercial had garnered 40% more complaints in the first year of its airing. However, consumer advisor and financial expert Martin Lewis claims the City watchdog’s commercial may be misleading.

Its call-to-action asking consumers to search Google for “FCA PPI” may trigger search engine algorithms that display claims management company advertising links at the top results. Consumers may be misled to think that to claim PPI refunds they would have to pay, which isn’t the case.

PPI Complaints Doubled in Half a Year After FCA’s Ads

The notorious payment protection insurance with a deadline for claims on August 29, 2019 has gained traction among claimants after the ongoing yet successful FCA advertising campaign had urged consumers to make a claim for their mis-sold insurance policies.

The bizarre yet meaningful advertisement starring the voice and animatronic head of Hollywood legend Arnold Schwarzenegger has urged consumers to “do it now” and make a PPI claim to obtain their refunds. The advertisement calls for consumers to search for “FCA PPI,” which will then lead them to the City watchdog’s dedicated page for PPI mis-selling.

Complaint figures have reached about 2.21 million, 13,000 fewer compared to 2017’s first half, but nonetheless a huge improvement that will only increase as the PPI deadline approaches.

Meanwhile, MoneySavingExpert founder Martin Lewis believes the FCA’s advertisements are troublesome than they are helpful. He said asking for consumers to search particular keywords that claims management companies can hijack for advertisements will mislead consumers to CMC landing pages where they are led to believe reclaiming refunds requires payment.

In his algorithm test regarding the FCA’s instruction, he revealed that two of the top-tier results of the initial page using the key phrase mentioned had revealed two CMCs who had funded the advertising for the keywords.

Martin Lewis: UK PPI Adverts Are Misleading

The Financial Conduct Authority’s PPI claims commercial featuring the animatronic head on tank treads and the voice of Hollywood Star Arnold Schwarzenegger has seen great success. However, MoneySavingExpert founder Martin Lewis said the advertisements are misleading. He believes the advice provided can trap consumers into paying for their PPI claims.

The commercials featured Schwarzenegger’s disembodied head walking on tank treads telling consumers and bus passengers to “do it now” and make a claim for their mis-sold insurance policies. However, it commands consumers to search Google for “FCA PPI” instead of providing an actual URL directly to the FCA’s PPI page.

Lewis said search engine algorithms will use this keyword to display primary advertisements from claims companies who would charge a substantial fee if they can make your complaint gain success and refunds. In search engines, organic unsponsored results often appear below one or two company advertisements related to a particular keyword.

PPI is the biggest UK financial scandal in history. It has gained the bank industry over £40 billion in refunds and penalties. About £25 billion had been returned to consumers. The FCA has made its decision in March 2017 to impose a PPI claims deadline by August 29, 2019. All complaints performed after this date will not receive any support from the regulator.

 

PPI Advertising Campaign Includes Its Second Episode

Arnold Scwharzenegger’s voice was used for his animatronic, tank-tread walking head urging indecisive customers in a supermarket to “do it now” and decide.

His dialogue is an allegory to the massive UK PPI scandal set to end on August 29, 2019. Recently, it had added a second episode.

The bizarre, disembodied head is seen crawling in a bus telling people to “do it now” and make a claim for their mis-sold insurance policy.

PPI is the United Kingdom’s biggest financial scandal. It has accumulated more than £40 billion in payments made by ineligible customers.

Banks had refunded over £29 billion in the last few years.

The Financial Conduct Authority continues to produce and air its M&C Saatchi-produced commercials until the PPI claims deadline.

Funding for the Schwarzenegger-backed commercials came from FCA-imposed bank levies, which amounted to £42.2 million in total.

UK’s banks continue to struggle with payment protection insurance repayments with most banks having reached a total of £5 billion repaying mis-sold consumers.

Lloyds Banking Group takes almost half the PPI scandal’s total with over £19 billion earmarked and half of the amount repaid to consumers.

According to the FCA, consumers will no longer receive its support if they attempt to make a PPI claim after the deadline.

Payment Protection Insurance is Efficient If You’re Qualified

Payment protection insurance or PPI is the most notorious UK financial product. The problem is not because banks can’t pay for their benefits. Because of unscrupulous employee sales tactics, millions of UK citizens were mis-sold the insurance policy.

If you’re ineligible because you didn’t qualify for the policy’s requirements, then you’re likely mis-sold. However, if you did qualify, then if you get into any situation that renders you temporarily unemployed and incapable of paying your financing, then the insurance policy can definitely help you.

PPI is an efficient product in itself. However, because it is used as a profits-amassing product preying on unaware consumers’ concerns regarding a faster loan application approval or improving their credit scores to qualify, it became a negative word throughout the country.

It has accumulated over £40 billion in refunds back to rightful consumers. Daily, the refunded total increases, and each consumer is likely to receive £3,500 for a basic PPI policy inclusive of their 10% compensation for the trouble.

If you own a PPI policy that you are qualified to use, then you cannot claim for refunds. However, if you can prove through medical reports or payslips that you purchased the policy despite being ineligible, then you can make a claim to receive all your repayments.