Monday 29 July 2019 12:01 am

FCA tries to take consumers back to the nineties ahead of PPI deadline

The animatronic head of Arnold Schwarzenegger and the eight-time world memory champion have been enlisted by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to help consumers remember if they were mis-sold Payment Protection Insurance (PPI). 

With a month to go before the deadline for making PPI complaints to providers, the FCA has launched a campaign that aims to take people back to the 1990s and early 2000s, when they may have been mis-sold PPI when making significant purchases. 

Research carried out for the FCA found that 87 per cent of UK adults hit a significant milestone – such as buying a house or car, or getting married – in the nineties or noughties. Over 40 per cent of those surveyed recalled taking out finance agreements to fund these, which often had PPI attached to them.

Read more: FCA boss Andrew Bailey heckled by victims of financial scandals

PPI was designed to cover loan repayments if the consumer became unable to do so, due to circumstances such as being made redundant or being unable to work. As many as 64 million PPI policies were sold in the UK according to the FCA, most of which were sold between 1990 and 2010, but policies were often mis-sold.

The FCA’s new campaign hopes to jog consumer memories by urging them to visit its list of providers who sold PPI, which includes high street and catalogue retailers, building societies, and supermarkets. 

In the regulator’s new advert, launched today, Schwarzenegger’s animatronic head urges the nation not to delay making PPI complaints, urging people to “do it now”. The FCA has also extended the opening hours of its PPI helpline, which can be reached on 0800 101 8800, ahead of the deadline. 

“The PPI deadline is closing in,” said Emma Stranack, head of the campaign. “With just over four weeks to go until 29 August 2019, we’re asking people to cast their minds back to the nineties and noughties and what might have caused them to take out a loan, credit card or other finance agreement.”

Dominic O’Brien, eight-time world memory champion, suggested that consumers employ a “time travel” memory technique to help transport themselves back to financial milestones in the period, saying it can be a “powerful tool”. 

“Close your eyes and return to a location that you frequented during the time period in question. Choose a specific starting point … and ask yourself what incidents that triggers. One memory sparks off another,”O’Brien added.