Industry comes together to deter claims via firms

Major banks, regulators and the Financial Ombudsman Service have joined forces to try to deter consumers from using claims management firms.

MoneySavingExpert.com and Which? hosted a payment protection insurance summit last week to increase awareness of how easy it is for consumers to claim for free on mis-sold payment protection insurance. The summit’s aim was to get all parties working together to help people get back money they are owed and restore trust in the claims process.

Participants agreed to standardise complaints procedures across financial services providers, improve communication with customers and explain why they don’t need to use a claims firm. They will also be writing to justice secretary Ken Clarke, calling for tougher regulation of claims firms.

The summit came as research revealed that one in four consumers are unaware that claims companies take a fee for reclaiming mis-sold PPI. The survey of over 2,000 people also found that over half – 53% – who have used a claims firm said they’d be unlikely to use one again.
The biggest complaint was about value for money, with 37% of consumers unhappy on this front.

Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which?, says it is a big step forward to have representatives of all major banks and regulators around the table.

But he adds: “This is just the start. We will continue to work with everyone present but the government must also raise its game and speed up plans to tighten regulation of unscrupulous claims firms that exploit consumers who just want to claim back what is rightfully theirs.”