The bank also reported Premier Financial Recoveries to the Advertising Standards Authority for misleadingly using the logos of the Financial Services Authority and Citizen’s Advice Bureau so that it looked like they endorsed the firm.
An e-mail, from Premier Financial Recoveries LLP, stated that, “the Financial Ombudsman The Financial Services Authority and the Citizens Advice Bureau believe that millions of these policies have been mis-sold.
“If you took out any kind of a loan or mortgage in the last six years, it’s 70% likely you have paid PPI.”
Citizens Advice Bureau and Financial Services Authority logos were also included in that.
Premier Financial conceded that the use of the FSA and CAB logos could lead consumers to assume that the firm was endorsed by them.
But it argued that the 70% figure was based on an FSA report from 2005 in which it stated that in a few firms, penetration rates for PPI of 70% and above had been found.
Premier Financial also provided an extract from the CAB website as background to the size of the PPI issue, which stated that, “selling PPI is big business, with an estimated 20 million policies in force and annual gross premiums in excess of £5bn”.
However the ASA countered that the original FSA study had involved the analysis of 30 firms selling PPI outside the prime mortgage sector only. It also added that as the FSA report was produced in 2005 the statistics behind the claim were five years old.
The ASA says: “Because the FSA report found 70% PPI penetration rates in a few firms out of 30 less compliant firms only, and the statistics were dated, we did not consider the report substantiated the claim, and concluded the ad was misleading on that point.”
The ASA upheld both complaints and ordered that the advert could not appear in its current form again.