There are very few consumers who aren’t aware of the absolute enormity of the PPI scandal during the 1990s and the 2000s. The first suggested time bar was initially proposed for autumn 2018, but now looks like likely to be extended to 2019.
However, it is clear that the banks are unhappy with the decision made by the FCA. Most of the high street banks had been preparing their provisions for a 2018 deadline. This is not welcome news for the banks; with a PPI bill that currently stands at nearly £40bn it will mean further weaker profits, smaller dividends and a low share prices.
There is very little sympathy for the banks – and rightly so. The huge fines they have incurred, are still incurring, and will continue to incur as a result of PPI is entirely of their own making. In actual fact if you look at the charge sheet against the banks, then they’re probably still getting off lightly.
Throughout the 90s and 2000s the banks and lenders were ruthless with the way they sold PPI to unknowing customers. This wasn’t selling by one or two unscrupulous salesmen after a commission; it was industry wide. There were no regulations on the way banks went about their business at the time, which explains the massive scale of mis-selling.
Similarly, when the scandal came to public attention, the regulator took its time to tell the banks they must repay what was rightfully owed, and even then the banks fought the decision in the courts.
Even after this argument finally fell by the wayside, the banks were still complicit in foot-dragging with a blatant reluctance to settle legitimate claims – this is outlined in the fact that 70% of complaints to the ombudsman were upheld.
Consumer bodies have argued that the only way for the banks to stop playing for time is to never have even considered a deadline in the first place.