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Making your decision about PPI

This page provides you with information to help you decide whether you should make a PPI complaint.

You've probably heard about PPI (Payment Protection Insurance). Over 50 million PPI policies have been sold and in the past they were often mis-sold. Many people who were mis-sold have complained and billions of pounds have been paid back.

There is a new deadline of 29 August 2019 to complain about the sale of a PPI policy. You will not be able to complain after this date.

What is PPI?

If you've ever taken out a loan, mortgage, credit card, or bought something on credit, such as a car, you may have been sold PPI. PPI is an insurance policy designed to cover repayments in certain circumstances where you can't make them yourself. This might be, for example, you are made redundant or cannot work due to an accident, illness or disability. Express Gifts Limited offered PPI to the customers of its Studio and Ace brand catalogues to protect the payments to and the balance of their catalogue account.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

The FCA regulate the financial sector and protect consumers. They provide information about PPI and can help you understand it, but they cannot give you advice about your individual circumstances or complaint. Visit www.fca.org.uk/ppi or call 0800 101 8800.

The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS)

This is a free, independent service for settling disputes between financial businesses and their customers. They can deal with complaints about a wide range of financial issues, including PPI.

You might want to contact the Financial Ombudsman Service if you complain to us and aren’t happy with our response or don’t receive a response within 8 weeks.

Five step process

  1. Check if you have or have had PPI
  2. Decide if you are eligible to complain
  3. If you want to complain, make your complaint directly to us
  4. We will look into your complaint – we may ask you for more information
  5. We must respond within 8 weeks to tell you if your complaint has been successful.

1. How do I check if I have had PPI?

To check, you can either:

  • Check your paperwork, including the terms and conditions, and more recent statements to see if ‘PPI’ or ‘payment protection insurance’ is mentioned.
  • If you still aren't sure, or you don't have any paperwork, you can contact us to ask if you have ever had PPI. Please see section 3 How do I complain? Below for our contact details.

There are contact details for many providers on the FCA website www.fca.org.uk/ppi or from their helpline on 0800 101 8800.

2. Am I eligible to complain about PPI?

If you think you have had PPI, there are two reasons why you might decide to complain:

  1. PPI mis-selling:
    Complain that PPI was mis-sold to you.

  2. Commission earned by a provider:
    Complain that we earned a high level of commission from the sale of PPI, but didn't tell you this when you bought it (following a court case often called 'Plevin').

PPI mis-selling

It is likely you were mis-sold PPI if you experienced any of the following:

  • you were pressured into buying PPI
  • you were told you must have PPI
  • you were advised to buy PPI that did not suit your circumstances or needs
  • you were promised a cheaper rate if you bought PPI
  • you were told your loan or credit application was more likely to be accepted if you bought PPI
  • PPI was added without telling you
  • you were self-employed, unemployed or retired but advised to buy PPI
  • you had a pre-existing medical condition at the time of buying PPI
  • you were advised that a pre-existing medical condition was included in your PPI
    policy (or advised that it wasn't included)
  • it was not made clear that you would pay interest on the PPI if it was added to your loan
  • it was not made clear that the PPI would end before the loan or credit was repaid

There may be other ways you may have been mis-sold PPI. If you are still unsure you should contact the FCA helpline on 0800 101 8800.

Commission earned by a provider

New rules introduced by the FCA mean banks and other providers have to consider complaints about commission they earned from PPI. These rules followed a Supreme Court decision in Plevin v Paragon Personal Finance Limited.

This means you may now be able to complain if you think your bank or other provider earned a high level of commission from your PPI and did not tell you this when you bought it.

It means you may get some money back even if you were not mis-sold PPI. And if you previously made a mis-selling complaint and it was rejected, you may be able to make a new type of complaint.

Have you complained about PPI mis-selling already?

No

You should consider whether you may have been mis-sold PPI. We will consider the commission we earned as part of a mis-selling complaint even if you don’t mention it.

Yes

Your complaint was rejected

You may be able to make a new type of complaint about commission earned by a bank or other provider.

Your complaint was successful and you were refunded some or all of your money

You will not get back more money if you now complain about commission earned from the sale of the same PPI policy. This is because there is no remaining loss that you need to claim back.

You complained about PPI since late 2015

We should already have told you in writing that we would consider the commission we earned as part of your complaint – check the paperwork from your complaint or contact us if you aren't sure.

3. How do I complain?

If you have had PPI and want to complain it is free to do this yourself. You do not need to provide documents with your complaint form. You should complain directly to us:

Making a PPI complaint does not affect your credit score nor will it affect how your Studio/Ace account operates.

Claims companies

A claims company (or claims management company, CMC) may contact you offering to help you make a PPI complaint. They are likely to charge you for this service by taking a proportion of any money you receive. If you decide to use a claims company, check they are authorised on the Ministry of Justice's Authorised Business Register and make sure you understand what it will cost you.

4. We will look into your complaint

We may ask you for more information so it's important you provide your contact details on your complaint form.

5. We must respond within 8 weeks

We must respond within 8 weeks to tell you if your complaint has been successful and you are owed some money, or to explain why we need more time to look into your complaint.

If you are not happy with the final response you receive from us, or you do not get a response within 8 weeks, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service on 0800 023 4567.

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