12Jun

Lloyds Banking Group, the organisation with the largest payment protection insurance (PPI) compensation reserve, has been unsuccessful in complaining to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) about the supposedly misleading content of a marketing tweet from Carmarthen-based claims management company (CMC) Thomson Legal, which trades as Assured Legal Services.

The tweet said:

“£223.7 MILLION on compensation for PPI paid in ONE MONTH… still don’t want to check? Message us today! #ppi #compensation #financialfriend.”

Lloyds, which has been forced to set aside more than £17 billion to cover PPI mis-selling, argued that the tweet could be interpreted as saying that Assured had recovered £223.7 million for its customers. In fact, the £223.7 million figure was the amount of PPI compensation paid by the entire UK financial services industry in October 2016.

The ASA ruled that the average consumer would be unlikely to think of the £223.7 million as representing the amount recovered by a single CMC, as the figure was so large, and added that the figure had been obtained from a credible source, which was the Financial Conduct Authority. The company is therefore entitled to carry on using this marketing tweet.

Lloyds has not been shy to challenge the claims being made in CMCs’ marketing material. Thomson Legal, then trading as PBA Refunds, lost a case with the ASA last year, again brought by Lloyds, after it was unable to provide evidence to back up its claim that its average customer received £2,200 per claim.

Following another challenge by Lloyds, claimback.com was unable to produce evidence to substantiate its assertion that it had secured more than £50 million in PPI compensation for its clients.

Manchester Claims Limited was also censured by the ASA after a challenge from Lloyds. In this case, the CMC could not provide evidence to demonstrate that the average amount of compensation it had obtained was £3,000 per customer, or to show that it was correct in asserting that its customers had a 90% success rate when making a claim.

Back in 2010, Lloyds was successful in challenging the advertising of Premier Financial Recoveries on two counts. Firstly, the ASA agreed with Lloyds that it was inappropriate to claim that 70% of mortgage and loan agreements included PPI, then sided with the bank once again in ruling that the company had used the Citizens Advice Bureau and Financial Services Authority logos in its advert in such a way that inappropriately suggested these organisations had endorsed the company.

However, Crystal Legal Services is another CMC that has successfully seen off a challenge from Lloyds regarding the statistics used in its marketing material. This company could produce a list of successful claimants to evidence that its average payout was indeed the £3,500 it claimed on its website.

These are just some of the occasions on which Lloyds has challenged the marketing communications of CMCs, and as can be seen, sometimes the bank has won its case and on others the CMC has successfully defended the action. However, all CMCs should ensure they check their marketing material before it is issued, and that they can substantiate any claims made. ‘Marketing material’ includes a wide range of different communications, from TV and radio adverts to adverts in the print media, the firm’s website, cold calling, texts and emails and social media promotions.

Unless a legal challenge from CMC We Fight Any Claim is successful, a PPI claims deadline will come into force on August 29 2019.

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.