A decision on whether or not to impose a deadline on future PPI claims has been delayed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
The City watchdog met last week to decide on the possible imposition of a time bar on new PPI claims. They were also discussing a Supreme Court ruling from November last year which experts have predicted will unleash a new tidal wave of claims.
But a spokesman has revealed the FCA board is ‘still considering both issues.’
No indication has been given of how long the delay is likely to be. The FCA originally said they planned to publish the findings of the thematic review into PPI in the summer which would include both of these matters.
Some experts believe a decision may still be announced this week, but the statement could also mean any announcement will be delayed until the next board meeting which is a month away.
Both issues will have a major impact on future PPI claims in the UK.
Britain’s banks have been pushing for a deadline on PPI claims since they lost the High Court judicial review into how PPI claims should be investigated in 2011. Until then, the number of PPI claims was a comparative trickle, but the publicity unleashed a flood of new complaints.
In April 2011 the FCA reported £28.6 million paid for successful claims. By Christmas that figure had risen to £535 million for a single month – more than 18 times the April figure. On the first anniversary of the judicial review, the payout reached the astonishing figure of £735.3 million for a single month – more than 25 times the amount paid out a year earlier.
Recent FCA figures show that the banks are still paying out more than £⅓ billion a month while the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) recently reported receiving around 4,000 new appeals a week for previously rejected claims. Between April and June this year FOS found 74% of those claims had been unfairly rejected.
The British Bankers’ Association (BBA) started discussions on imposing a deadline with the then regulator, the Financial Services Authority (FSA), in the aftermath of the failed judicial review. In 2013 a formal approach was made to establish a deadline in the Spring of 2014, but the idea was shelved following strong objections from consumer groups who said a time bar could mean that victims of mis-selling would not be paid the compensation they were due.
But the idea of a deadline never really went away. The BBA continued to discuss the issue with the new regulator – the FCA – and raised the issue again when the watchdog announced its thematic review into the way PPI complaints were being handled.
It is impossible to know how many PPI claims remain to be made, even though tens of thousands are being submitted each week, or the effect that a deadline will have on the level of claims.
It is believed that around 45 million policies were sold between 1990 and 2010 and the FCA estimates that around 14 million claims have already been made.
Following the landmark Plevin case in the Supreme Court lasts November, the regulator has also been examining how the decision might be applied to other PPI sales. The court had decided that failure to disclose the amount of premium which was paid in commission for the sale amounted to mis-selling of the policy.
In a statement they said: “The FCA is considering whether additional rules and/or guidance are required to deal with the impact of the Plevin decision on complaints about PPI. The FCA will be engaging with relevant stakeholders in the coming months in respect of this and it expects to announce its views on this, including next steps, at the same time as existing work.”
It is believed the investigation will also be looking at how the Plevin decision might be applied to the other finance providers, particularly car finance and brokers.