The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has announced it is suspending the streamlining of its work force for six months because of the surge of PPI complaints before the deadline in August.
The service had previously announced its intention to reduce its workforce because around two thirds of them had been taken on purely to handle PPI appeal cases.
But its expectation of a reduction in workload was scuppered by the huge rise in complaints as consumers rushed to beat the cut-off date.
Most complained of
A spokesman revealed FOS had received 73,462 PPI complaints in the first half of this year – making it still the most complained about product.
In the run-up to the deadline they were receiving 2,800 new claims a week.
FOS is a mediation service and only adjudicates on cases where consumers and lenders disagree. It examines the facts on both sides and then decides, on balance, who was right.
Current figures showed that one in three bank rejections had been unfair and the decision was reversed.
Even though the claims deadline has now passed there is still time to make an appeal to FOS if you feel your claim was unfairly rejected.
You are entitled to refer your case to it within six months of the date of your final decision.
The final decisions in some of the late entry cases are likely to be months away in any event as the banks have been swamped with the sheer number of claims which all have to be individually assessed.
A spokesman said the amount of claims filed just before the deadline will take until around April to be investigated and potentially longer to be finalised.
He added: “We expect to be busy with PPI for some time yet.
While August 29th was the deadline for people to get complaints into their providers, following that, the business has eight weeks to respond, and then customers have six months to bring their complaint to us if they are not happy with the business’s response.”
FOS chief executive Caroline Wayman added: “We received over 6,000 new complaints a week in the first half of this year, with PPI continuing to be the most complained-about product.
“If you’re unhappy with a financial business, you can come directly to the Financial Ombudsman Service and we’ll see if we can help. If a business hasn’t done the right thing, we have the power to put things right.”
The scale of the increased workload was spelled out in official figures which showed FOS dealt with 180,000 PPI cases in the last financial year, but their 2019-2020 budget shows they expect to receive 250,000 this year.