Millions of customers throughout the United Kingdom have allegedly been mis-sold payment protection insurance by their banks. Many claims management companies have helped these customers get their money back. Unfortunately, a number of unscrupulous companies have also taken advantage of customers who have mis-purchased PPI. Customers will need to be aware of these scams and know how they can protect themselves.
PPI Scams Persist
Scam artists frequently offer services based around high profile events. The PPI scandal was the largest financial scandal the country has ever faced. Many criminals have offered services to target customers who may have purchased payment protection insurance.
These scams have been ongoing since the PPI scandal first emerged several years ago. They have grown exponentially as the crisis has gained more attention.
Office of Fair Trading Issues Warnings
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has recently stated that PPI scams are more prevalent than ever. They have shared profiles of some of the scams which they hope will protect customers. Here are some warning signs that OFT officials said customers should be aware of:
- Scam artists often claim to be associated with the OFT, FOS or another reputable agency.
- Many will pretend to be working with a legitimate PPI claims company.
- Scam artists tend to be very secretive about what they do. They will typically call or email people and won’t share their real name.
- They ask for money up front and promise to get compensation after the fact.
You will always need to be on your guard when you receive an unsolicited phone call, text message or email.
How to Protect Yourself
There are several things that you can do to avoid being scammed. Here are some tips you may want to follow:
- Never share your banking or personal information over the phone or Internet.
- Remember that the FOS, OFT and other agencies do not email or call people to request personal and banking information. Also, the OFT wants to remind people that it has no bearing to compensate people for PPI claims.
- Only work with claims companies that have a physical location and verifiable business information.
- Find out what the company’s track record is before asking them to file a claim on your behalf.
PPI scams will continue to persist as more people realize that they have been mis-sold PPI. Make sure that you are on your guard against them.
The PPI scandal dates back to late 1990’s when it was first reported that PPI was a poor value product. PPI or payment protection insurance was introduced as a product that would cover the monthly repayments if a person holding the PPI policy fell ill or lost their job. For most people, it sounded an attractive proposition and the product was a hit. The PPI was generally sold alongside loans or credit cards. Many people even led to believe that the credit application was more likely to accepted if the person had a PPI. This was one on the primary methods by which PPI was mis-sold and there were many other loopholes which allowed this to happen.
Most banks and financial institutions that sold PPI did not share the complete and accurate details regarding PPI as they earned a huge profit by mis-selling the product. The figures reveal that banks and financial institutions had a profit margin of almost 80 % if they mis-sold the product. The PPI claims statistics also reveal the fact that since most of the policies were purchased alongside loans, most people ended up paying a lot of money and that the PPI turned out to be a very expensive product.
However, the statistics also reveal that millions of customers have now successfully claimed back their mis-sold PPI premiums. Of the 4.5 million people who have made claims, 2.5 million have been able to get the settlement of the claim. The statistics also reveal the fact that the biggest scandal is also turning out to be an economy stimulus package as it is not only helping people get money but is also generating a lot of new jobs. It is known from statistics that around 6000 extra people have been hired by UK banks and financial institutions to handle the PPI claims.
When the story first broke, back in 2009, it was estimated that payouts for mis-sold PPI could reach £4.5billion. However, 5yrs on, that sum has more than quadrupled with major UK banks now having set aside over £22billion, and with claims for compensation still incoming that figure could rise further still!
To find out more about mis-sold PPI and how to recover your money, visit http://www.oraclelegal.co.uk/ppi-claims
Despite the generally poor economic situation the consumer finance market in the UK reported significant growth in 2012, according to figures collated by the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA). The figures claim a general growth in lending of around 6% over the whole of 2012, with certain areas showing more serious growth than others. The figures suggest that restrictions on consumer lending have eased of late, with more people than ever before borrowing at a time when the opposite may have been expected.
Cars and High Street
The main areas of growth appear to have been in lending on car finance and in high street shops – where store instalments are in growth – and there are other areas where people have been showing an increased propensity to borrow. Point of sale credit is among the fastest growing areas of borrowing, and it would seem that many people are looking to borrow to boost flagging incomes in times of hardship.
Car Credit Jump
The rapid rise in car finance credit – up by 22% over the previous year – indicates increased consumer confidence, while the 15% jump in in-store credit is also indicative of a change in the financial markets. Store cards, on the other hand, are showing a move in the opposite direction with a fall in uptake of over 15% in the year, perhaps indicating that there are better deals to be had with instalment credit and other forms of finance.
Credit Cards and Loans
The market for credit cards and personal loans, according to the FLA figures, is pretty much static at the moment with an overall fall of just over one percent, although there are signs that the loans market is about to take a turn for the better with interest rates at an all-time low. The ongoing financial crisis is still in full effect, but with these latest figures comes a sense of optimism that can only be described as positive. 2013 promises a sea change in the way we are borrowing if last year is any indication, and it will be interesting to see how things fare in the next 12 months.