James Walker: Ask your lender about PPI before it’s too late

On 29 August, the deadline for making a PPI complaint will end and after that the biggest mis-selling scandal in UK financial history will be over.

The deadline for payment protection insurance mis-selling claims in looming.
The deadline for payment protection insurance mis-selling claims in looming.

If you’ve taken any loan or credit card out over the past two decades, chances are the lender will have tried to sell you PPI. Huge numbers of people who refused were signed up anyway. Which is why you should ask lenders if you were signed up too.

Surely everyone should know about PPI by now?

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Lots of people make this assumption, but the simple fact of the matter is PPI policies were mis-sold on a massive scale. Estimates suggest upwards of 64 million policies were sold but no-one really knows for sure. Many people were never told that PPI had been added to their loans or credit cards, which is why so many people potentially don’t know if they were affected.

I don’t know if I was mis-sold PPI, what should I do?

If you’re not sure if you had PPI, then you’ll need to contact the business that sold you the loan or credit agreement and ask them what documents or information they have on file. The business has to tell you the truth, but the older your policy, the harder it may be to track things down. Resolver can help you make contact with the business or make a complaint so get started here: www.resolver.co.uk/ppi

I’ve not got my documents; can I still complain?

Yes, but you’ll need to note down all you can remember about the sale or your circumstances. Get in touch with the firm and ask them to check their records. They may have file notes, scans, copies of original documents or other references to your loan or credit agreement, all of which could indicate if PPI was sold with the policy.

How do I find out who to complain to?

In simple terms, if you have the rough date you took out the loan or credit agreement and the name of the company you bought if from, it’s possible to search a database of regulated firms to find out who should deal with your complaint. This isn’t always easy to do so you can call the Financial Conduct Authority or the Financial Ombudsman Service. They can check the database for you.

How does the complaint process work?

It’ll take a few minutes, but I’d encourage you to write down as much as you can remember – every bit helps. The business will then investigate your complaint. They have a maximum of eight weeks from the moment we contact them to resolve your complaint. If they don’t respond or you’re not happy, you can appeal to the financial ombudsman for free.

What if the business that sold me PPI has gone bust?

If the firm that sold you the PPI was regulated at the point it sold you the policy – and if it has formally filed for bankruptcy – then the Financial Services Compensation Scheme can potentially look at your case. But it still needs to investigate your situation as a complaint – so you’ll need to explain why the policy was mis-sold to you.

How do claims managers know how much money I will get?

They don’t. It’s impossible to know how much you might get until your case is investigated.

James Walker is the founder of online complaint-resolution service Resolver.co.uk