The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has revealed more details of its activities regarding payment protection insurance (PPI), as a new publicity campaign regarding the claims deadline commences.

From August 29 2019, it will no longer be possible to make a PPI claim – save for a handful of exemptions for claims concerning recently-sold policies, or regarding claims and administration issues. In the two years leading up to the deadline, the FCA will conduct a £42 million publicity campaign across various media channels, designed to alert the British public to the existence of the deadline, and to prompt them to make one final check as to whether they may have grounds for a claim. The campaign will be funded by the 18 firms that sold the most PPI policies.

A legal challenge aimed at halting the deadline, brought by claims management company We Fight Any Claim, was rejected in the High Court, although the company does intend to appeal the ruling.

Ahead of the publicity campaign, the FCA gave details of the work it is carrying out in three specific areas.

Firstly, it has contacted a number of firms and asked them to make changes to the PPI claims sections of their websites. The regulator wants to make it easier for customers to check online if they had PPI via the firm, and also to make it easier to make a complaint to be made via the firm’s website. The PPI sections of firms’ sites should also provide clear links to PPI information on the websites of the FCA and the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), and also direct users to assistance that can be obtained from other organisations, such as Citizens’ Advice.

Secondly, the FCA is making sure that firms are geared up to handle Plevin-related PPI complaints. Most historic PPI complaints have centred around alleged mis-selling, but from August 29 this year it will also be possible to make a PPI complaint on the grounds that the firm failed to disclose a significant commission payment at the time of the sale. This follows a successful court case brought by a Mrs Susan Plevin. The FCA has asked firms to offer a simplified process whereby customers who have already had a PPI mis-selling complaint rejected can make a complaint regarding high levels of commission without having to provide much of the same information for a second time. The regulator also says it is “working with firms to ensure they have the resources and systems in place to handle complaints quickly and fairly”, even if Plevin causes a large increase in complaint volumes.

Finally, the FCA says that, once the publicity campaign has commenced, it intends to gather information on customer satisfaction rates, i.e. whether consumers believe their firm is handling their PPI complaint fairly. The regulator says there will be a particular focus on the way vulnerable customers are treated.

The FOS has revealed that, in the first quarter of the 2017/18 financial year (April 1 to June 30), it received 42,401 new PPI complaints. This still accounts for the majority (53%) of all complaints received by the Service. However, of the PPI complaints closed by the FOS during the same period, only 40% were upheld, much lower than was the case a few years ago. This may suggest that many of the strongest mis-selling claims have already been lodged.

The latest FOS newsletter also reveals that the organisation has 150,000 outstanding Plevin-related cases, on which it cannot give a ruling until the new FCA rules come into force at the end of August 2017. The FOS also promised to publish an update in the next issue of its newsletter on how it is handling complaints in light of the new PPI rules.

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.