RBS and Santander ordered to fix PPI breaches after failing to send out reminders

23 August 2019

More than 14,000 RBS and Santander customers did not receive accurate Private Protection Insurance reminders over a six-year period

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The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is taking action against Santander and Royal Bank of Scotland after they failed to send out accurate Payments Protection Insurance (PPI) reminders.

The UK competition watchdog says that RBS and Santander breached a 2011 Order requiring PPI customers to receive an annual reminder from their provider that clearly sets out how much they’ve paid for their policy, the type of cover and their right to cancel.

The CMA has ordered the banks to appoint an independent body to check their PPI rules and put in place procedures to ensure that similar incidents do not happen again.

Both banks were previously warned about their PPI practices in 2016.

Adam Land, the CMA’s senior director of remedies, business and financial analysis, says: “It is unacceptable that some banks aren’t providing PPI reminders – or are sending inaccurate ones – eight years after our order came into force. The legally binding directions we’ve issued today will make sure that both RBS and Santander now play by the rules.

“These are serious issues that, in the future, may result in fines if the government gives us the powers we’ve asked for.

“For now, we expect RBS to repay all affected customers quickly, and for both RBS and Santander to make sure that similar breaches do not happen again.”

What did the banks do wrong?

RBS failed to provide reminders to almost 11,000 of its customers for up to six years, meaning those affected were unable to fully assess whether they wanted to continue paying for PPI.

In fact, some customers may not have even been aware they still had PPI.

An RBS spokesperson says: "We are contacting those customers who may not have received their annual PPI review letters and have put systems in place to ensure that this does not happen again. We would like to apologise to any customers affected."

Meanwhile, Santander sent out out annual reminders containing incorrect information to over 3,400 of its mortgage PPI customers from 2012–2017.

A Santander spokesperson says: “We’re sorry that as part of a communication about their PPI policies, a small number of customers who were in arrears received incorrect information on their mortgage balance.

“Customers were not financially impacted as a result and would have been aware of their correct mortgage balance through their annual mortgage statement and other communications. We informed the CMA as soon as we became aware of the issue and have taken steps to ensure it does not happen again.”

What should you do if you are affected

Those affected should already have heard from their bank.

RBS has now written to those affected, providing a reminder of their right to cancel their policy.

Santander says the error did not affect the actual mortgage payments or any of the PPI information.

Once the issue was fixed all customers received correct information in their 2018 PPI Annual Review letter.

Time is running out to claim PPI

People looking to make a PPI claim have until 29 August 2019. Consumers who haven’t complained to their provider by this date won’t be able to claim money back for PPI.

Anyone who has taken out a credit card, loan, overdraft, mortgage or store card over the past 30 years can make a claim.

If you have taken out a loan or credit product but aren’t sure whether you had PPI, you can ask the provider of those products.

Your provider will then get back to you to tell you if you had PPI. If you did and you are unhappy with how it was sold you can then make a complaint.

If you complain to your provider directly, you will avoid paying a claims management company, which could take up to 25% of your compensation.

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