How the FSA Recommends a Financial Institution Handle Complaints

When a bank or other lender has been responsible for selling or mis-selling payment protection insurance, they have to treat complaints about the service according to the rule making powers of the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

Thanks to the strict regulations within the industry, the actions put in place by the finance company must follow certain steps. When a consumer understands the process, they are much more confident about making a claim for mis-sold PPI.

Assessment of Complaint

According to the FSA document ps10/12, which was feedback on the consultation document CP10/6, the receipt of a complaint should be dealt with as follows:

1.       The firm must take in to account all evidence provided by the person lodging a complaint as well as any data held by the firm to decide if there was a possibility if mis-selling.

2.       The firm must then establish the true nature of the complaint, which means analysing any data and not restricting their analysis to the presented evidence.

3.       If needed, the firm should contact the person who lodged the complaint, even if they have representation, but this cannot be used to delay any processing of complaints.

4.       If in the course of analysis, there are potential issues identified that are either related or unrelated to the specific claim, they should be addressed. These new issues can relate to the original process of selling the PPI or it can relate to the process of claiming against the insurance.

5.       When a possible problem is identified during the analysis of the situation, the new data must be considered part of the original complaint even if this was not presented as evidence or complained about by the complainant.

6.       Any research conducted, either by the firm or independent sources, must be considered when assessing the likelihood of a relevant claim. This information may have been found when investigating unrelated claims or by any other means.

7.       The firm should take in to account any PPI sold to the claimant, not just the policy in question and they should assess whether there would have been any cumulative financial impact for the customer. This can be especially important where customers have refinanced at any stage.

A Thorough Investigation

It is clear to see from the above guidelines that there are many ways in which a claim can be justified by the lender or insurance provider without a client actually understanding fully, the reasons for their compensation. An appropriately diligent lender will thoroughly investigate any problems they may have had with their sales process in the past and this will usually mean the problems associated with mis-sold PPI will have already been identified.

The issue of whether a customer truly understands the process of claiming back any PPI payments would not be hindered by their ability to remember every fact of the matter. Where there have been previously successful claims against the company, it is almost accepted that the process was inherently flawed.

Open for Abuse?

There have been some suggestions that this system can be potentially abused, but the systems in place at financial institutions have been identified long ago and it is simple to see if a claim made against a PPI plan, falls within certain times when there were systemic problems.

Making a speculative claim can be frowned upon, but in the same sense that a customer did not know their rights at the point of sale, they are not obliged to know their rights now. It is in the hands of the firm to decide whether they acted appropriately and not for the customer to decide on their part.

If you feel you may have been mis-sold, claim PPI back with Gladstone Brookes and let them handle your case.

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