Banks struggling to process PPI claims

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Many banks are still struggling to hit their targets to deal with payment protection insurance complaints, despite an extension from the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

Under traditional guidelines a complaint has to be handled within eight weeks but in June the FSA made a temporary agreement with Barclays, Lloyds and RBS to allow them more time to deal with the extraordinary number of complaints they've received.

Under this deal PPI complaints that the banks put on hold during the judicial review must receive a decision on their complaint by the end of August.

In addition, PPI complaints received by the banks after the conclusion of the judicial review in May but on or before the 31 August needs to receive a reply to within 16 weeks.

Moreover, PPI complaints received from September to 31 December will be responded to within 12 weeks.

Severe backlog

However, despite this extension the banks are struggling to deal with all complaints in time.

In order to try and deal with the backlog banks are aiming to have sent letters to all these complainants by the end of the month telling them whether or nor their complaint is being upheld but most of them won't receive their compensation until up to four weeks later - they may not even be told how much compensation they are going to receive.

Once complaints have been dealt with successful claims should receive a refund on the premiums paid plus backdated interest at a rate of 8%.

What does this all mean for you?

If you have already made a complaint to your bank for PPI you should receive a response by the end of the year at the very latest (but by the end of August if you made your complaint before April 20).

How to reclaim your PPI premiums

If you have yet to make a complaint and you make it before the end of this year the banks have to respond to your complaint within three months.

Anyone who hasn't heard back from their bank within that time can take their complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service, but given the disorder surrounding the PPI issue it's probably worth contacting your bank again first to check on the progress of your complaint.

Will you be claiming PPI compensation from your bank?

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Let's not forget that they created this backlog by putting the claims on hold in the first place. The banks should now be penalised for not doing enough to meet the targets set by the FSA and the idea of 'responding' to all complaints before the deadline (by sending a letter to the complainant stating that they've received the complaint) does NOT mean that the complaint has been resolved.

After sending in my complaint in October 2010, I got an outcome in early August, and was promised a cheque (despite having an active current account with this bank) in 21 days - no sign, then it was changed to 21 working days, still no cheque - it was changed to 28 working day, plus a 3 week backlog!

So I am not likely to receive my money until November, when all the interest was calculated to 2nd September 2011!

I am one very unhappy bunny!