Thursday 21 April 2011

GLC warns UK consumers 'don't get ripped off when seeking PPI refunds'

The High Court in London has rejected the Brittish Bankers Association (BBA) judicial review which challenged the UK's financial regulator's power (Financial Services Authority, FSA) to require banks to review all of its Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) complaints (most of which the banks had rejected).

The challenge related to rules introduced by the FSA in August last year and whether breaches of FSA 'Principles' (high level general rules) can be a basis of redress for a customer who complains. The banks had unilaterally decided to place all complaints on hold pending their judicial review; the FSA had not issued a waiver to permit them to do this.

Campaigners have estimated that the High Court's decision could lead to three million customers receiving £4.5bn in refunds, consisting of premiums and interest. However, banks said they would continue to put claims on hold until they have decided whether to appeal against the decision, despite a call from the FSA to reconsider complaints immediately.

Govan Law Centre's Principal Solicitor, Mike Dailly, today warned consumers not to be ripped off by dodgy Claims Management Companies who promise to get you thousands of pounds back for an upfront fee of around £500 hundreds pounds or more.

Mike said: "Many people will be eligible for a refund but not everyone. You can check your eligiblity online using Money Saving Expert's free guide, which also has free style letters on how to complain and obtain a refund.  The key point is that you do not need to pay a Claims Management Company or anyone else to get a refund. You can do this yourself by writing a letter. There is no need to go to court. So if you've been ripped off with a useless PPI policy don't get ripped off again when it comes to seeking a refund".

PPI covers payments for loans and credit cards if the policyholder falls ill or loses their job, but the policies are riddled with loopholes, such as exempting claims from the self-employed or those with back injuries, the major cause of workplace illness in the UK.

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