Wednesday 28 August 2019 6:04 pm

Watchdog opens door to PPI deadline reprieve as customers battle technical issues

The regulator responsible for overseeing PPI claims has hinted that providers could extend tomorrow’s deadline if technical difficulties prevent customers from complaining about mis-sold policies.

Consumers have to lodge claims with the provider that sold them the PPI policy, but people have complained of being unable to make claims with providers due to problems with online forms or being unable to get through via telephone.

Read more: One day to go until the PPI deadline: How to make a claim

Affected providers included Natwest, which had technical difficulties with its online PPI claim form.

A spokesperson for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) told City A.M. the watchdog “will be expecting firms to follow the principle of treating customers fairly.”

“Where a firm knows that customers may have had trouble accessing their services (whether website or phone) in the run-up to the deadline, then we would expect them to apply a pragmatic approach to dealing with complaints received immediately after the deadline.”

PPI was designed to cover loan repayments if the customer became unable to do so, but was often mis-sold. According to the FCA, as many as 64m policies were sold in the UK.

Policies were mis-sold when providers sold PPI to customers without explaining what exactly it covered, or – in some cases – lied to customers by telling them PPI was compulsory.

Read more: RBS and Santander rapped over PPI reminders

RBS and Santander were criticised by the competition watchdog last week for not properly reminding PPI customers that they could cancel their plans.

The FCA’s deadline for making complaints about mis-sold PPI is 11.59pm tomorrow night.