In line with Complaint handling rules, Lenders have up to eight weeks to respond to a Complaint about mis-sold Payment Protection Insurance (PPI), however some Lenders have advised that customers may have to wait until Summer 2020 for a response.
Why the delay?
Between the second half of 2018 and the first half of 2019 the number of PPI Complaints jumped by 34% from 1.58 million to 2.12 millioni with the volume significantly increasing again in July and August in the run up to the PPI deadline.
Lenders have said they have been “overwhelmed by the sheer volume of last-minute Claims”ii . Lloyds were receiving 190,000 PPI Complaints per week in the first half of 2019, this leapt to between 600,000 and 800,000 in the final weeks before the deadline.iii
Which? Reported that: “HSBC, Santander, Lloyds, RBS and Nationwide all told us they received large numbers of PPI Complaints in the run up to the deadline. All of them wanted to reassure customers that they would be resolving cases ‘as soon as possible,’ and will be getting in touch with anyone whose Complaint will not be resolved by the eight-week deadline.”i
Publicity campaigns active before the PPI deadline, of 29 August 2019, from organisations such as Which?, MoneySavingExpert and the Regulator significantly impacted the increase in Complaint volumes.
The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) are both aware that the agreed timeline of eight weeks for Lenders to provide a final response is not feasible, given the volume of PPI Complaints received by the Lenders. The Financial Conduct Authority have said “It will take time for some consumers to receive their response, but it is important to us that these Complaints are handled fairly and accurately.”i They have assured customers that they will not lose out financially from the delay in processing the Claims.
The FOS told Which? it “expects banks to prioritise cases where a claimant is vulnerable or in financial hardship”ii.