The campaign to alert the UK public to the payment protection insurance deadline ran for two years – between August 2017 and August 2019 – cost £42 million and prominently featured Arnold Schwarzenegger urging consumers to “make a decision” as to whether they wished to make a complaint. But just how effective was the campaign?

The Financial Conduct Authority has now published its final report on the impact of the campaign, and this shows that:

  • 32 million UK consumers said they recognised the campaign, equivalent to 71% of the target audience of UK adults aged 25 and over; while the FCA claims that the various media it used reached 99.9% of the target audience, with the average audience member being reached 49 times
  • 2 million people visited the PPI website that was set up by the FCA for the duration of the campaign, with 110,000 people phoning the dedicated campaign
  • Firms that sold PPI were forced to pay £9.1 billion in redress during the campaign, equivalent to almost a quarter of the industry’s total compensation bill of £38 billion. The average redress payment during the campaign was around £2,000 for a mis-selling complaint and £740 for a complaint concerning undisclosed commission (often referred to as a ‘Plevin’ complaint)

Whilst we cannot be sure exactly whether complainants were prompted to register their claims as a direct result of the campaign, the number of PPI complaints rose from 3.7 million in the first 10 months of the campaign to 8.9 million in the final 14 months, including 1.4 million in the final month. The 12.6 million complaints made during the two-year campaign make up almost 40% of the 32.4 million complaints that have been made about this product.

The FCA says there is very little evidence that large numbers of people ran out of time to make a complaint, and that when one examines the complaints that were received after the deadline, many of these were duplicates of complaints that had already been made, or were from customers who had never had PPI with the firm in question.

The FCA says that the publication of this report “closes our project work on the issue”, but given that so many complaints were submitted in the days leading up to the August 29 2019 deadline, many firms are still investigating complaints, so the regulator still has a role to play in ensuring these firms handle their remaining PPI complaints fairly. For example, the report urges these firms to communicate clearly when their complainants can expect to receive a final response.

Jonathan Davidson, Executive Director of Supervision, Retail and Authorisations, said:

“PPI is the largest consumer redress exercise in the UK’s history. We set out to bring the issue of PPI to an orderly conclusion and prompt consumers who wanted to complain about PPI to act. Our campaign was a success in reaching millions of consumers, many of whom were not previously engaged with the PPI complaints process.

“Firms are still handling complaints. We will continue to monitor firms to ensure that those complaints are handled fairly.”

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article