Julian Knight: My mum's PPI mis-selling payout leaves me jealous
Her compensation beats what she could have earned from the stock market or an ISA
Saturday 26 October 2013
I wish I had taken out payment- protection insurance (PPI). Yes, you read that right. I wish I had taken out payment-protection insurance. I almost did, in fact. In 2001 I took out a loan to buy a car with Alliance & Leicester – now part of Santander – and throughout the process the salespeople kept adding a PPI policy onto my monthly repayment figure. I phoned Alliance & Leicester three times and instructed them to take off the ppi as I had no need for it. This was a clear attempt at mis-selling and I was wise to it but wish I hadn't been. My regrets don't stem from the fact that I would have needed to claim, but from the fact that if I had allowed myself to be mis-sold, I would now be awaiting a hefty compensation cheque, just like the one winging its way to my mother.
She was mis-sold PPI by both the Halifax and the Co-op and in the first case – despite intrusive questioning – she has now received her compensation, which seems to be the premiums, plus interest paid on the premiums, topped up to the tune of 8 per cent per year. Because she chose to pursue the claim herself rather than through a claims-management firm, she will keep the lot and I have worked out that she has done better out of being mis-sold PPI than she could have done if she had invested the cash in the stock market or placed it into even the best-paying individual savings account. She deserves this of course and the banks are rightly being punished for it. Yet I can't help but feel a little jealous.
Recently The Independent on Sunday investigated the sharks in the pension-liberation industry. Basically, these fly-by-night firms look to persuade people to deposit their pension with them in a high-risk, offshore-investment scheme with the dubious promise of being able to unlock some cash. Up to 90 per cent of the fund can disappear in charges and investment underperformance and on the whole they are a terrible and legally very dubious idea. Now, it seems, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) agrees, and following reports such as ours has announced a raft of measures to put an end to this consumer abuse. The Association of British Insurers is cock-a-hoop that HMRC is getting tough, so let's hope we now have some real, joined-up action between the taxman, the pensions funds and the wider public to put these schemes out to grass.
Last year, when Stephanie Flanders, the departing BBC economics editor, wrote that older workers were "bed-blocking" younger people I got angry. The main reason was that for years I had been urging employers to take a much-better attitude to older workers and to dispense with ageism in the workplace in order to sort out the pensions crisis (it is funny how I got more obsessed with it as my 40th birthday approached). Then we had the widely respected Ms Flanders saying that young people were being thwarted by the nation's older workers. I said this was counterproductive.
Now this week I have been reading a report on the European Labour Market for an organisation called the Conference Board, which clearly shows that Ms Flanders was right. Since the onset of the financial crisis the numbers of people still in the workforce across the EU has risen by nearly 4 million. This is simply because Europeans are staying at work longer rather than opting for early retirement. At the same time, youth unemployment is horrendous throughout much of the EU.
It seems Ms Flanders was correct, but overall we do still need people to stay at work longer and employers to be more open to older workers – genuine labour market flexibility up to the age of 70 if necessary.
In some ways the phrase bed-blocking misses the real point that the difficulties we face are actually getting to integrate young people into the workforce, particularly straight from university which in some cases doesn't equip youngsters well, while at the same time recognising that we need older people to be truly flexible. We still have a very long way to go on both counts.
Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
iJobs Money & Business
Up to £70,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...
Up to £65,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...
£32000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manage...
£Neg. (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Finance Account Manager with...
Day In a Page
A three-bedroom villa with self-contained flat, minutes from Lake Windermere
A deceptively spacious, beautifully presented Georgian home with 3000sq ft of living space and five reception rooms
A five-bedroom Victorian home with four receptions, superb gardens and paddock in Pembury
An eight-bedroom house on the south side of the The Green with cinema, wine cellars and summer house
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
A three-bedroom, 15th-century cottage with original features in the picturesque village of Sissinghurst
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens