The End of PPI Complaints … And What Comes Next

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The PPI Deadline of August 29th 2019 has been fixed in calendars across the Financial Services and Banking world all year long, and tomorrow we will have reached the end. Or at least the end of the beginning – with the uptick in the number of complaints being submitted this year, just how long will the process of responding to them all take once the flow of new complaints stops? And where does the industry go from here?

The Financial Ombudsman Service’s most recent numbers forecast 250,000 PPI complaints for the current financial year, up from 180,507 the previous year – putting the total number of complaints around the two million mark. Some people have expressed that even that 250,000 figure isn’t accounting for the kind of last-minute spike we might see right at the deadline. Banks have so far paid out more than 36 billion pounds on mis-sold PPI claims and Lloyd’s announced this year that they were setting aside an extra 550 million to cover a rise in claims in the final period complaints are open.

There’s also the issue of “quality” complaints with some banks recently reporting that they were seeing a lot of claims from people who had never held products with them, with Barclays Finance Director Tushar Mozaria earlier this month saying to the press that “claims management companies [were] swamping the bank with vexatious claims”. In response, Caroline Wyn of the Financial Ombudsman Service pointed out that many of these claims were customers trying to find out if they had PPI – a reasonable question to ask given the original issue of policies being added without the customer’s knowledge.

One of the key questions is how will the Ombudsman Service change after the PPI rush ends? The service currently has over 1000 dedicated PPI staff and the organisation has said staffing from next year will depend on the levels of complaints in other products. Complaint numbers are on the rise in other areas, with complaints about short term loans projected to rise to 50,000 this year and this year the Ombudsman has a new focus on complaints about Claims Management Companies now that they’re regulated, as well as opening the doors to complaints from Small to Medium Enterprises, giving them two potentially vast new ongoing streams of complaints to manage.

Back in the industry, we’re seeing a lot of complaints professionals looking to expand their skills to quickly prepare themselves for the post-PPI complaints landscape and I expect the next year will see a lot of movement between projects and hiring managers moving fast to snap up contractors with the most extensive knowledge of non-PPI complaint areas. At Kind Consultancy, we work closely in a tripartite arrangement with candidates and our clients to ensure that projects we work on have a very high level of contractor retention, staying close to every part of the process from the initial request through to project close. We encourage hiring managers to be transparent about the likelihood of extensions, notifying candidates as early as possible about extensions or opportunities elsewhere in the business when one project comes to an end. We want to help our clients reduce the risk of losing resource at a critical point in the contract, as well as to provide greater job security to our candidates.

Kind Consultancy maintains an extensive database of pre-qualified complaints specialists available on short notice for both permanent and interim projects. If your organisation needs experienced complaints handlers for the final stages of your PPI response, or if you’re looking to put together a complaints team with other specialist knowledge, contact Kind Consultancy on 01216432100 or selena@kindconsultancy.com today for a confidential conversation.

Selena Tye