A majority of consumers are now making Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) compensation claims directly to lenders rather than to claims management companies, according to the financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
The FCA says that since 2011 more than £30 billion has been paid out in compensation to consumers, with more than £3.7 billion since the launch of the campaign - a 64% increase on the previous 10 months.
The regulator adds in a progress update that its advertising campaign featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger has increased consumer understanding of PPI.
The campaign features Arnold Schwarzenegger’s animatronic head and urges consumers to make a decision on whether or not to complain about PPI by the 29 August 2019 deadline. After this date, consumers will not be able to receive compensation.
The FCA says more consumers are complaining themselves instead of going to claims management companies. More than half of complaints (55%) have been made directly by consumers, compared to 45% before the campaign.
The FCA also says that 73% of people now recognise the campaign and over two million people have visited the FCA PPI website since it launched. Around 3.7 million complaints were made, 63% up on the 10 months before the campaign.
PPI was designed to cover repayments in certain circumstances where you couldn’t make them yourself. For example, if you were made redundant or could not work due to an accident or illness.
Jonathan Davidson, executive director of supervision, retail and authorisations at the FCA, says: “We are encouraged by the results of the first 10 months of the campaign.
"However, with less than a year until the deadline, we will carry on working hard to ensure every consumer has had the chance to make a decision on whether to complain about PPI."
As many as 64 million PPI policies have been sold in the UK, mostly between 1990 and 2010. However, millions of PPI policies were mis-sold by the banks to customers who did not need them or were put under pressure to sign up - in some cases without their permission or knowledge.
The scandal has created huge costs for banks, with over £29 billion paid out in compensation since the crisis began. Lloyds has been hit the hardest, setting aside more than £19 billion for claims so far.
Davidson adds: “Where we have seen firms failing to meet the standards we expect, we have challenged them to make improvements.”
To find out how to claim PPI yourself, check the FCA website for information.