Deadline 2019? Yes, but don’t wait – here’s why.

ppi deadline

By now you may already know that the FCA has announced a PPI deadline in 2019. After this you won’t be able to re-claim PPI at all.  If you want to know more about that, check out this article in a minute.

So what – that’s over two years away!!??

Unfortunately there are other PPI deadlines which mean you could miss out if you don’t prioritise checking.  Before we go on, we should say that we’re assuming that you would like to check if you have PPI at some point.  Clearly if you’re not bothered, it’s not our place to try to persuade you otherwise.

Your personal PPI deadline

“Wait – I thought you said it was 2019?” – Yes, true, but for many the deadline is now or has passed already – there are a few reasons why.

Let us explain… In 2013, the regulator told the banks to write to customers who they believe may have been mis-sold PPI. At least five million people were due a letter.

Sounds good?  Hmm – there’s a catch.

Financial Ombudsman Service time limits

The Financial Ombudsman Service has PPI deadlines for raising a complaint with them. Actually they are time limits which apply to any type of complaint. The FOS decides in favour of consumers in a very high proportion of PPI claims which get to them. It’s about 60-70% on average and up to 98% with some companies!  So the FOS time limits are very important, because if your lender rejects your complaint, the FOS is the next stop. They are also your last chance without legal action.

The time limits** are:-

  • “six months from the business sending the consumer a final response (which has to mention the six-month time limit); and
  • six years from the event the consumer is complaining about (or – if later – three years from when the consumer knew, or could reasonably have known, they had cause to complain).”

Read on the Financial Ombudsman Service site.

Normally, we concern ourselves with the first of these and make sure that any follow-up complaints to the FOS are within the six month rule.

The second limit is not normally an issue because most customers genuinely don’t know whether or not they had PPI or whether it was mis-sold.

The 2016 PPI deadline crunch

The crunch is that this changes and becomes a PPI deadline if you’ve had one of those letters about your PPI. In this case, the three year clock starts ticking when you get the letter.  That’s because you then “know” you may have a claim.  Some people may not remember whether they had a letter.  They were sent when PPI was not such a well-known problem.  Letters may have gotten lost among the noise of credit card offers, updated terms and conditions and so on which banks send to us.

Since the letters started being sent out in 2013, individual “PPI deadlines” (i.e. FOS time limits) are expiring as we speak. Remember, banks often get it wrong  when you first complain about PPI. If the FOS time limit has passed, you probably won’t be able to get an independent review of your complaint.  We’ve got an article about the banks’ performance on PPI complaints and all the statistics here if you’re interested.

If you think you may have had a letter, dig it out and check the date. Even if you’re not sure, we recommend avoiding delaying further.

If you’d like to get some help from us with checking if you had PPI, you’ll find we have a very competitive fee of 15% + VAT (18% total) (compare here). You only need to fill in the short form on the right (or below if using a smartphone) to get started.

Any other PPI deadlines?

Not a PPI deadline as such, but it might as well be. In practice there is another time limit on being able to make a complaint.

This is to do with how long companies hold records about your credit and PPI. Once you’re no longer a customer (for that product), they only have to keep this information for six years.

Now, in practice, many firms do keep records a lot longer than that, but consumers are finding that they miss out because they don’t have paperwork and lenders have also now destroyed their records.

In fact we had a complaint this week from someone on a store card dating back sixteen years (2000). They are possibly missing out on a substantial claim because the lender did not have records even though they hold records back to 2000. It seems they missed out by months or weeks (who knows?).

So – if you are thinking about whether or not to see if you have a claim, please bear in mind that the clock is ticking and every day that goes by could reduce your chances.

If you’d like to get some help from us with checking if you had PPI, you’ll find we have a very competitive fee of 15% + VAT (18% total) (compare here). You only need to fill in the short form on the right (or below if using a smartphone) to get started.

**the FOS rules have some exceptions and differences for some financial products, but these are not relevant to PPI. The FOS may review complaints outside time limits in exceptional circumstances.