The financial claims world has a lot to contemplate at the moment
- The outcome of the Carol Brady HM Treasury review looking at how CMCs should be regulated and who should regulate them is still awaited.
- The Financial Conduct Authority [FCA] consultation in respect of a Payment Protection Insurance [PPI] claims time bar and rules surrounding unfair relationships in respect of hidden commission [the Plevin argument] has only a few days left to run.
- A CMC fee cap consultation has just been commenced by the Claims Management Regulator [CMR].
What are the PFCA doing?
The PFCA is involved in each of these reviews and is in the process of providing feedback to each of the relevant parties. As always, the PFCA response will focus on poor consumer outcomes and claimant detriment issues.
Four areas have been identified resulting in more consumer detriment
Whilst the formal responses are being prepared, the normal work of the PFCA carries on. At present, the PFCA is engaged with the FCA having identified four emerging areas of consumer detriment. The PFCA is providing evidence to the FCA in respect of poor product provider approaches to:
- 1. Agency agreement failings, where no FOS Rights are being given to claimants and where no identification of the party liable for the redress is being provided by those who could treat their customers fairly and disclose such information.
- 2. The Court decisions that are being made which go against the FCA suggested approach to hidden commission.
- 3. Evidence of inappropriate practices being adopted by product providers leading to consumer detriment in respect of Plevin arguments.
- 4. Errors in product provider redress calculations.
Protect consumers and expose poor practices – Evidence is being provided
While it is clear that some sections of the regulatory and political world would rather CMCs did not exist, the PFCA will get on with its day to day business – protecting consumers by providing ‘checks and balances’ that expose poor practices.
Has only £10b in redress been paid out in the PPI scandal?
Although the PFCA members handle many types of financial claims the PPI issue is far from over. In fact, it has been suggested that we are not even a third of the way through it. The Financial Ombudsman Service [FOS] own figures show that product providers sold around £50 billion, ’gross written premium’ of PPI. Although, around £21bn of payments has been made to complainants who were mis-sold, that figure is said to include statutory interest, so in reality only around £10bn of actual redress has been paid back. Clearly we are not near the end of the PPI scandal, we are not even half way through.
Consumers need a professional, well-regulated, compliant and competitive financial CMC sector like never before.