Barclays forced to contact 10,000 customers over PPI failures
Barclays has been forced to write to 10,000 customers who hold payment protection insurance (PPI) policies to explain their refund rights, following three “serious breaches” of orders from the competition watchdog.
It’s emerged that Barclays (including Barclaycard) failed to provide annual statements to 9,404 credit card customers and a further 740 mortgage holders explaining their PPI rights, despite being obliged to since 2012.
Adam Lands, senior director at the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) explains: “The annual statement [is] an important measure resulting from the market investigation which ensures customers know they have a PPI policy, how much they are spending on it and reminds them of their right to cancel or switch.”
But because Barclays failed to contact these customers they’re now entitled to a full refund of their policies since the date of their first missed statement, plus 8% interest a year - but only if they no longer want the policy.
If you want to keep your PPI policy, you’re not entitled to a refund.
The error only came to light following an investigation by the CMA, after Barclays initially told it only 52 people hadn’t received an annual statement in April 2015.
The average PPI refund for Barclays customers is £1,808, and it has already paid redress to 1.5 million customers, according to the bank’s 2015 annual report.
- See How do I reclaim PPI? for full help on getting a refund if you think you were mis-sold.
Mr Land says, “Barclays has now taken the necessary steps to alert and recompense affected customers - as well as to ensure that there is no repeat in future. We trust that the extra reporting requirements we’ve put in place will confirm this.”
A spokesperson for Barclays says, “Last year we identified a number of Barclays and Barclaycard customers who, due to a technical issue, had not been sent their annual PPI statements. We have written to those customers to apologise and outline how we will remediate them where they believe they would have cancelled their policy, had they received the statements.
“We apologise unreservedly to those customers affected and have put in place a number of controls to prevent this from happening again.”
Payment protection insurance is designed to cover you should you fall ill, have an accident or lose your job and can’t make repayments on loans or credit cards. However, research by consumer watchdogs found the cover to be overpriced, filled with exclusions (policies exclude self-employment, contract employees and pre-existing medical conditions) and were often mis-sold because the exclusions were never fully explained. In May 2011, the High Court ruled banks had knowingly mis-sold PPI and ordered them to compensate around two million consumers.
Used by the holder to buy goods and services, credit cards also have a monthly or annual spending limit, which may be raised or lowered depending on the creditworthiness of the cardholder. But unlike charge cards, borrowers aren’t forced to pay the balance off in full every month and, as long as they make a stated minimum payment, can carry a balance from one month to the next, generating compound interest. As the issuing company is effectively giving you a short-term loan, most credit cards have variable and relatively high interest rates. Allowing the interest to compound for too long may result in dire financial straits.
All limited liability companies registered in the UK are compelled by law to compile a report once a year on the company’s accounts and directors’ statements must be issued to shareholders and filed at Companies House. A report details a company’s activities throughout the preceding year and its contents will include chairman’s statement, auditor’s report and detailed financial information such as cash flow and balance sheet statements.