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The Halifax Building Society de-mutalised in 2001 to become a fully fledged bank and then merged with Bank of Scotland to the HBO’s. Eight years later, at the height of the financial crisis, HBO’s was acquired by the then Lloyds TSB and became part of Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) – the biggest retail banking group in Britain.
The group has since come under investigation and been fined serveral times by the City regulator – the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and its predecessor the Financal Services Authoirty (FSA).
In 2013, it was fined £4.3 million by the FSA for delaying payment of refunds to more than 140,000 consumers who had successfully claimed for mis-selling, with 9,000 of them only receiving their money six months later.
In the same year it was investigated by the FCA after an undercover reporter from The Times alleged staff at a London call center were encouraged to delay and deny compensation requests in the hope they would be dropped.
The FCA had also expressed concern at the high number of rejections of PPI claims being issued by LBG and the rest of the UK’s financial intuitions.
Following the investigation, LBG was fined a record £117 million for ‘unacceptable’ conduct in the way it handled PPI claims. In a statement the FCA said “The size of the fine today reflects the fact that so many complaints were mishandled by Lloyds.
“Customers who had already been treated unfairly once by being mis-sold PPI were treated unfairly a second time and denied the redress they were owed. Lloyds’ conduct was unacceptable.”
LBG, of which Halifax is a part has set aside almost £19.3 billion to pay successful PPI claims – almost twice as much as the second biggest on the list – Barclays.
Approximately £17.4 billion has already been paid out and in its 2018 half year results the group said it hoped the £960 million added to the pot in the previous six months would be enough of a top-up to pay out all future successes up to the PPI claims deadline on August 29th 2019.
However, it added: “A number of risks and uncertainties remain including with respect to future volumes. The cost could differ from the Group’s estimates and the assumptions underpinning them, and could result in a further provision being required.”
How was PPI mis-sold?
If you took out a loan, credit card or mortgage with Halifax, it is likely you were mis-sold PPI if you experienced any of the following:
- you were pressured into buying PPI or told you must have PPI
- you were promised a cheaper rate if you bought PPI
- you were already covered by another policy
- you received full sick pay from your employer
- 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 advised to buy PPI that did not suit your circumstances or needs
- 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, which may have affected your ability to make an insurance claim
- 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
- the amount of commission paid on the sale was not revealed at the time