View more on these topics

PPI where are you when we need you?

I hesitate to bring up the old bogey of payment protection insurance when more people are wishing they had opted for it or wished that they had not stopped the direct debit rather than the Sky subscription because times in Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s La-La land are now officially tough.

But the announcement that single premium PPI is going to be axed is a little bit like locking the stable door after the horse has bolted then finding that having locked it, you are on the inside and the bolt has stuck.

We have heard all the arguments about misselling, many of them pretty gruesome, but what has been conveniently forgotten is that the product itself, provided it is properly constituted, can mean the difference between keeping going or disaster.

In its MPPI guise it has the power to do what Brown is trying so expensively to persuade the main lenders to support, with his guarantee for people who find that due to unemployment they are unable to keep up payments on mortgages.

PPI should be championed, not derided and its importance to any financial commitment being entered into should make it a natural protective addition, not be seen as a shady way to bulk out commission.

Unfortunately, it has become so vilified by association that many more people are going to be in trouble as a result of the negative publicity generated over the past few years and therefore not having taken out protection.

As for single premium policies, they do have their place. The main problem was always the burden of cost to pay interest for the privilege of having something in place over a specific term.

The other factor was taking out cover for longer than you would actually need it if the loan or mortgage was redeemed early.

Surely, it is not beyond the ingenuity of providers to solve this issue without us having to lose a sure fire way of ensuring that clients are covered when the bad things in life happen.

Because believe me, the numbers who are canceling monthly policies on secured loans to misguidedly save money are only going to rise and will Gordon do for them what he has promised for those who have no mortgage protection? I don’t think so.


Skipton MD quits

Steve Haggerty has unexpectedly quit as managing director of Skipton. appoints rival MD

Richard Mason, former head of, has been appointed as managing director of competitor

Lenders selfishly pick and choose what TCF means

TCF is a daily consideration for all brokers but I have an issue with how lenders seem to decide what constitutes meeting the initiative to suit their own ends, even if it disadvantages borrowers.

Give lenders a chance

It’s not often we feel sorry for lenders but spare a thought for Nationwide and Halifax. They found themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place over collars last week.

Guide cover

Guide: how to… communicate with your pension members

Effective communication of your pension scheme is a large part of getting auto-enrolment right. Delivering the same message to all employees is not necessarily the way to go. To assist you with the communication of your pension scheme, we have provided some key areas to think about, such as:

  • What to consider when segmenting your workforce
  • How to communicate to pension scheme members at the right time in their member lifecycle
  • What topics you should be discussing with your pension members
  • The new pension freedoms and the importance of communicating them


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up