Santander and the Ryal Bank of Scotland apologised to customers today as the UK’s competition watchdog scolded them for not properly reminding PPI customers they were able to cancel their plan.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it will force the two banks to appoint independent auditors to scour through their payment protection insurance (PPI) processes.
RBS has also written to those affected to remind them they have the right to cancel and has paid out more than £1.5m in customer refunds.
The bank had forgotten to remind nearly 11,000 customers of their rights for up to six years.
Meanwhile Santander’s annual reminders to more than 3,400 mortgage PPI customers included incorrect information between 2012 and 2017.
It comes after a CMA order in 2011 which requires all banks to send the reminders.
“It is unacceptable that some banks aren’t providing PPI reminders – or are sending inaccurate ones – 8 years after our order came into force. The legally binding directions we’ve issued today will make sure that both RBS and Santander now play by the rules,” said Adam Land at the CMA.
“These are serious issues that, in the future, may result in fines if the Government gives us the powers we’ve asked for.”
A spokesperson for Santander said that customers were not impacted financially. The bank said it had informed the CMA as soon as it discovered the problem.
“We’re sorry that as part of a communication about their PPI policies, a small number of customers who were in arrears received incorrect information on their mortgage balance,” the bank said.
RBS said: “We are contacting those customers who may not have received their annual PPI review letters and have put systems in place to ensure that this does not happen again. We would like to apologise to any customers affected.”