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.