The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has today revealed that they have received twice as many complaints regarding Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) as they expected this year.
This incredible surge in complaints comes on the back of increased media exposure and word-of-mouth advice from successful claimants. The FOS had anticipated receiving 165,000 complaints at the start of the financial year. This figure is now expected to rise over 300,000.
The figure is so large and unprecedented that the FOS is currently deciding how many extra staff that they will have to take on just to handle the volume of complaints. It has already imposed additional charges on the banks from whom it is seeking compensation to ease the strain caused by the mis-selling of PPI.
This rise in complaints has slowed down the process from the FOS. Without enough staff to handle the volume of complaints and Britons hoping to Reclaim PPI, the process can now take up to a year to complete.
This delayed process has led to many claimants seeking the help of independent Claims Management Companies. These companies have trained specialists who will deal directly with the banks and lenders to retrieve the money that was wrongly taken from their clients.
In many cases, these Claims Management Companies can speed up the process indefinitely and alleviate the burden of dealing with the banks directly for their customers. Their professional, hands-on approach allows customers to carry on with their lives throughout the process.
So far UK banks and lenders have had to reserve more than £12bn for the compensation packages that they are currently paying out to claimants who were Mis-Sold PPI. This figure looks set to increase with major banks adding more to their personal reserves on regularly.
Lloyds Banking Group is paying out a staggering £8m a day. This figure demonstrates the need for an incredibly high level of staffing. Without an increase in volume of staff, the disputes would take far longer to resolve.
Payment Protection Insurance was designed to help people repay credit card and loan agreements through times of illness. The product has been included in many credit card and loan agreements over the past two decades.
However, the product was widely mis-sold to those who did not request or require it. In many cases, the customer was not even made aware that the product was being included in the service.
Those who have taken out such an agreement in the past 20 years are implored to comb through any deals for evidence of Mis-Sold PPI.