PPI Complaints To Ombudsman Reach 500,000

Been Mis-Sold PPI? Join The Half Million
PPI complaints hit 500,000
PPI complaints hit 500,000

As of Tuesday 23 October 2012, the financial ombudsman has received more than half a million complaints about the sale of payment protection insurance (PPI).

The (un)lucky 500,000th complainant was a consumer from Wolverhampton who was self-employed when she was sold the PPI policy by her bank.

The ombudsman said it is currently receiving up to 400 PPI complaints every hour - and complaint volumes so far this financial year (from April 2012 to date) are already over 140,000, compared to 157,716 for the whole of 2011/12.

Approximately 70% of complaints are being upheld in the consumers' favour at the moment, with compensation averaging at £2,750.

Of the 30% of complaints which are rejected, only a small percentage are because the claims are frivolous and/or vexatious.

Most rejected complaints were held in the banks' favour if the bank was able to prove that the PPI policy was not sold as being optional, a condition of getting the loan, not entirely unsuitable for the candidate, and were not pressured into taking PPI out.

Nationwide Building Society, which came 7th in the top 10 most complained about banks with 3,892 PPI complaints, has only had 18% of them upheld against the bank.

Capital One (Europe), which had 5,594 PPI complaints, only had 21% of them upheld against the bank.

By comparison, Barclays Bank, Lloyds TSB Bank and MBNA Europe Bank, which were the most complained-about banks for PPI had 93%, 98% and 97% of complaints decided in favour of the consumer respectively.

Chief financial ombudsman Natalie Ceeney said: "It's extraordinary that we've received our 500,000th complaint about PPI - and despite these record numbers, this mis-selling scandal shows no sign of slowing.

"While it's good news that more people know that they can come to the ombudsman, it’s clear that unless the banks sort out their complaints quickly and fairly, people will only face increasingly longer waits for justice."

PPI is now the most complained-about product of all time. The second highest is mortgage endowments with around 350,000 complaints so far.

In the ombudsman's corporate plan and budget (published in January 2012), forecasts suggested that the ombudsman would receive 165,000 PPI complaints in 2012/13 - given 140,000 have already been made, it's likely the ombudsman will reach that target in the next fortnight.

The ombudsman has said if complaints continue at the current rate, it is likely that this figure will be double the estimate by the end of the financial year (April 2013).

Barclays Bank announced on 18 October it had put aside a further £700m to pay claims for mis-sold payment protection, taking its total claims pot to £2 billion.

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