Payment protection insurance heads complaints league

Image caption,
Restrictions on PPI sales have been the subject of debate and legal challenges

Complaints about payment protection insurance (PPI) continue to dominate a list of financial disputes despite sales rules being tightened.

Some 45% of the workload of the Financial Ombudsman Service in the three months to October was made up of PPI cases, new figures show.

PPI is supposed to cover borrowers' loan repayments if they fall ill, die, or lose their jobs.

Next were complaints about current accounts (11%) and credit cards (10%).

Mortgages (4%), overdrafts and loans (3%), motor insurance (3%), and deposit and savings accounts (3%), followed on the list of most-complained about products to the Ombudsman.


PPI has become highly controversial after years of campaigning by consumer groups against the widespread mis-selling of the policies.

They accused banks and other lenders of foisting the insurance on millions of people, even if they could not make a claim under the terms of the policies, did not know what they were buying, or had been told improperly that buying the insurance was a requirement of being offered a loan in the first place.

Consequently, complaints have dominated the work of the Ombudsman for some time.

It prompted action from regulators, ending with confirmation in October that banks will no longer be able to sell PPI policies when granting loans to customers.

Lenders will have to wait seven days before offering PPI to their customers, although a date has yet to be set for implementation of the new rules.

In the meantime, the City watchdog - the Financial Services Authority - has taken action against more than 20 firms for mis-selling PPI and has already halted the sale of the policies alongside unsecured personal loans where a one-off upfront premium was involved.

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