A probe by the consumer group found that banks “routinely dodge potential refunds” by not checking all the policies a claimant has held, instead choosing to only investigate the individual policies named, without mentioning to the customer that they had other PPI policies that might be eligible for compensation.
Which? said all the big high street banks it approached, including Barclays, HSBC, RBS Group, Lloyds Banking Group, Santander and Nationwide, confirmed they limited their investigations to the policy referenced, unless a customer makes a general complaint or explicitly requests that the bank checks all policies sold.
Gareth Shaw, Which? Money expert, said: “Firms have admitted that they are doing the bare minimum to compensate victims by failing to investigate and flag all the policies a claimant might have held, meaning millions could be left unclaimed.
“As the deadline to claim approaches, we’re encouraging anyone who thinks they might have additional policies to re-lodge a general claim, even if they've already had a successful payout on one policy. The banks certainly won’t check other policies for you unless you ask.”
Consumers who think they have been mis-sold PPI have until 29 August 2019 to make a claim, under a deadline set by the Financial Conduct Authority.
The regulator has used TV ad campaigns to encourage victims of mis-selling to seek compensation, and in the second half of 2017, PPI claims hit a four-year high.
In response to Which?’s findings, a spokesperson for the FCA said: “It is important that consumers are able to check easily whether or not they have had PPI and then decide whether they want to complain. A key objective of our advertising campaign is to make sure that consumers understand that they may have had PPI on a broad range of products.
“We are working with firms to make it easier for consumers to ask for a PPI check on all brands and products with each firm at the same time.”
Valerie Henderson, 63, from County Durham, discovered that her bank owed refunds on a further 13 policies, totalling over £12,000, after having received PPI compensation in 2009 and 2014. Ms Henderson said she was prompted to make one final check after receiving leaflets which mentioned mis-selling PPI on mortgages.
“A leaflet dropped through my door which mentioned PPI mis-selling on mortgages. I knew I had one with NatWest so I called up and said the magic words - I asked for all of my accounts to be checked.
“I'm now expecting to get £12,784 back. I doubt I would’ve ever got the money if I hadn’t seen that leaflet. Realistically there has to be some cut-off date for PPI claims, and I try not to be cynical, but it makes my blood boil that Natwest could well have alerted me to these policies and unclaimed funds.”
Natwest said: “We are sorry to hear of Mrs Henderson’s experience regarding her PPI complaints and we will be contacting her to ensure this is resolved satisfactorily. In line with our ongoing customer commitments, we have made a number of improvements to our PPI complaints process, including enhancing how customers can get in touch with us, and the support that is available."
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