Millions to get letters inviting complaints over PPI

Millions of people who may have been mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI) but have not yet complained to their bank will receive a letter inviting them to do so over the next few months.

Up to 12 million such letters may be sent, according to the Financial Services Authority (FSA), which yesterday ordered the next phase in returning billions of pounds to consumers from the mis-selling scandal.

Last year, the banks paid out £1.9bn in compensation to people who were mis-sold the insurance which was designed to enable them to continue paying off mortgages or loans if they lost their jobs or became ill. It is estimated total redress could cost the banks up to £8bn.

Martin Wheatley, FSA managing director, said: "Historically, response rates for these types of exercises are low. Therefore, if you receive a letter, it's important to consider your PPI purchase carefully, and if you feel you were a victim of poor practice, please do respond."

The FSA said it expects the banks to have to issue anything from four million to 12 million letters.