With less than a year to go before the PPI deadline the consumer awareness campaign does not appear to be reaching all of its intended targets.
A new survey by Populus for the Professional Financial Claims Association (PFCA) has found that 46% of UK adults don’t know when the deadline is or even that there is one.
Volume of checks
Figures reported recently by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) claim that the monthly volume of checks is up by 40%, the number of claims is up 63% and the amount paid out in compensation is up by 64%.
The average redress paid per successful claim is £2,001 and the most checking enquiries received have come through claims management companies (CMCs).
The FCA report on the progress of the first year of the £42 million awareness campaign says: “We are encouraged by the results of the first year of our campaign. Featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger’s animatronic head, the campaign has increased consumers’ awareness of the deadline and improved their understanding of PPI and how to check if they had PPI.
“We are confident it is prompting consumers to make a decision about PPI before the 29 August 2019 deadline.”
The data in the survey is based on 850 respondents nationwide and adds: “As we move into the second year of our campaign, we aim to continue the positive trend of increased awareness and improved understanding, in particular among black and minority ethnic consumers.”
Regarding outcomes the FCA says that more than 80% of the claims generated since the campaign started have been upheld and £3.7 billion in redress has been paid out.
But could it be doing better?
The stated aim of the campaign is to persuade anyone who believes they may have been mis-sold PPI to make a claim before the deadline on August 29th next year.
Though the volume of claims is up and the amount paid out has also increased, the figures would suggest the FCA are just chipping away at the number of possible claims when there are potentially millions still to be made.
Treating customers fairly
One of the core principles of the FCA is ensuring that the banking sector are treating their customers fairly, but it could be argued that the decision to put in place an artificial deadline for future PPI claims is doing the exact opposite.
PPI has been mis-sold for decades so why should people who could still be owed thousands for mis-sold insurance now be asked to rush to make a claim to get back what could rightfully be theirs or lose the chance forever?
- Almost half (44%) of those spoken to in the Populus survey said they believed the deadline should be extended until the banks have repaid consumers a guaranteed total amount.
- More than two thirds (69%) believe consumers should have the option of professional help in claiming their money back.
How many policies?
No-one really knows how many PPI policies have been sold since the 1980s, but the FCA itself has estimated it could be anywhere between 40 and 65 million.
Even with the recent spurt in claims submission, it is estimated that only just over 20 million have been made so far and even on the lowest estimate, while not all of the remaining policies will have been mis-sold, there would appear to be millions more viable claims just waiting to be made.
Only 33% of the 2,085 people spoken to by Populus for the PFCA correctly identified the PPI claims deadline date as August 29th 2019 and 47% had no idea whether or not they had ever been mis-sold PPI. After 10 months of the consumer awareness campaign almost half of those questioned still don’t know the right date or are even aware that there is a deadline at all.
Awareness is higher among older people – 46% of those 65 and over – with just 15% of 18-24 year olds being aware.