04Apr

The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has said that it is “now routinely resolving PPI complaints … within 3 months.” This is in stark contrast to the situation a little over a year ago, when some consumers were waiting more than two years for the FOS to adjudicate on their payment protection insurance (PPI) complaint. The main reason the FOS was taking so long to close these complaints was simply the sheer number of PPI complaints it was receiving at the time.

PPI complaint volumes have now reduced, but the FOS says it has now received a total of 1.7 million PPI complaints since the start of the mis-selling scandal, and that 1.5 million of these have been resolved. Around 140,000 of the approximately 200,000 unresolved complaints are said to be affected by the Plevin court judgement, and the FOS statement goes on to clarify that the three-month timescale does not apply to resolving its backlog of Plevin complaints.

The FOS notes that the Financial Conduct Authority has only just issued its final rules for how Plevin complaints should be handled, and that also these rules on Plevin-related complaints (claims related to undisclosed commission on PPI) do not come into force until August 29 this year.

The FOS anticipates that it will have some 160,000 Plevin-related complaints by the time the rules come into force, and that it could take 15 months to resolve these. Some of these complaints were made a long time ago, as the Plevin Supreme Court judgement was made in August 2014. In some cases, the FOS has already closed the mis-selling complaint, but says that there may be grounds for upholding the complaint under the Plevin rules.

The FOS also calls on authorised firms and claims management companies to make life easier for them, by saying:

“Exactly how quickly Plevin cases are resolved also depends on how well businesses, including claims management companies, follow the guidance and provide us with appropriate information.”

The FOS issued its statement on PPI at the same time as it issued its plan and budget for the 2017/18 financial year. It says it has the resources to receive 180,000 new PPI complaints, and 150,000 complaints about other products and services, between April 1 2017 and March 31 2018.

In reference to both Plevin and the intended PPI claims deadline of August 29 2019, chief ombudsman Caroline Wayman says:

“We don’t yet know the exact impact these developments will have on our work. But in the months ahead, we’ll be working closely with the FCA, financial businesses and others to ensure everyone with concerns about PPI gets a fair and final answer.”

The FOS says it expects to complete its investigations into 280,000 PPI complaints, plus 150,000 complaints about other financial services, during the financial year.

The plan also commits the FOS to resolving 50% of its non-PPI complaints within 45 days by the end of the financial year. The organisation will also aim to achieve this target for all PPI complaints that don’t relate to Plevin.

Case fees for firms will remain unchanged at £550, and case fees will still only be paid on a firm’s 26th and subsequent cases of the financial year, so any firm with 25 or fewer complaints will continue to pay no FOS case fees. The size of the general levy on authorised firms also remains unchanged.

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.