Industry needs a standard qualification for PPI sales

From Sara-Ann Burgess

There has been much debate over how the insurance industry, regulators and trade bodies should tackle the payment protection insurance issue, its anti-competitive practices and flawed sales processes. While I applaud initiatives to drive up standards I’m frustrated but not surprised that no tangible solutions are being put in place.

As it is a non-advised general insurance product, those selling PPI only need to meet the regulator’s training and competence requirements. There’s nothing mandatory laid down for PPI sales so providers can educate and train (or not) as they see fit.

Those giving mortgage and investment advice require qualifications that are validated and approved by the Financial Services Skills Council, so why is the same not true for PPI?

Lenders’ trade bodies point out that their members meet the FSSC’s qualification criteria but given that there are no formal exams for PPI sales, how can they measure their members’ competence? There is no national benchmark against which this can be judged.

The Association of British Insurers says consumers need to be better informed about the policies they are buying but instead of relying on producing better point-of-sale material we should be focussing on the people who sell PPI.

We need a standard qualification which would ensure greater emphasis is placed on competence and skills. This would result in fewer policies being mis-sold and ultimately a better reputation for us all.

Sara-Ann BurgessDirector

By email