Today the FCA announced a deadline for PPI complaints of 29 August 2019, together with a campaign, paid for by the firms, to make sure consumers know about the deadline and how best to make a complaint.
It's hard now to imagine, let alone recall clearly, that PPI was already an issue when the FSA took on the regulation of General Insurance in 2005. By many measures, including duration and total redress, it has a strong claim to be the biggest conduct failure of the crisis years. Along the way its scale has been consistently underestimated by firms and regulators, it has spawned the rise of CMCs (Claims Management Companies), and its redress payments have helped sustain UK consumer spending.
It's been a long and bumpy road, yet even now there are perils ahead - doubtless the CMCs will ramp up their efforts again, while the potential volume of complaints might still put great stress on the resources of both firms and the FCA, not to mention the Ombudsman. In this regard, the 'Plevin' judgement, referred to in the press notice, is another twist in the tail, but possibly a big one.
Hopefully the campaign will be striking and imaginative - scotching the criticism that consumers will still be left in ignorance of their rights - and firms and regulator can finally close PPI out. If this legacy issue can be put to bed, we can at last begin to draw a line and properly move on.
We have been working with firms to ensure they have the resources and systems in place to handle complaints quickly and fairly, particularly if the number of complaints they receive about PPI increases once the campaign begins.