The FCA has said that advertising to increase understanding of payment protection insurance spearheaded by Arnold Schwarzenegger has paid off in an update on its communications campaign today.
The actor and former Governor of California currently appears in both print and television advertising for the regulator.
The campaign features Schwarzenegger’s animatronic head urging customers to decide whether to complain about PPI before the FCA’s 29 August 2019 deadline.
FCA executive director of supervision, retail and authorisations Jonathan Davidson says: “We are encouraged by the results of the first 10 months of the campaign [and] we will carry on working hard to ensure every consumer has had the chance to make a decision on whether to complain about PPI.”
Over two million people have visited the FCA’s website since the introduction of the Schwarzenegger advertising. Close to four million enquiries have also been made with monthly volume on pre-campaign figures up 63 per cent since August 2017, the regulator says.
The advertising is also seeing consumers bypass claims management companies. A total 55 per cent of claims now come directly from consumers, up from 45 per cent before the campaign.
The reasons behind the FCA’s decision to select Schwarzenegger for the campaign were revealed through a Freedom of Information Act request by Money Marketing last September.
Advertising agency M&C Saatchi was hired to assist the regulator with the campaign and said Schwarzenegger is a character that is “the epitome of directness”, “a doer, not a talker”, and “likeable enough to get away with being blunt.”
The regulator did not disclose how much it paid the Terminator star for his work.
Moving forwards, Davidson says the FCA will continue the campaign into its second year with increasing focus on understanding of PPI in black, ethnic and disabled communities.
He says: “The focus will be on strengthening consumers’ understanding of what to do before the deadline and how to make a PPI complaint.
“Where we have seen firms failing to meet the standards we expect, we have challenged them to make improvements.”
Following the August deadline next year, the FCA will prepare its final report to be published in early 2020.
The regulator says it will be a “definitive review” on the impacts of its measures and “draw the PPI issue to a close.”
Customers have received more than £30bn in redress since 2011. Data released by the regulator in August shows £383m was paid out in June, down from £403m in May and £398m in April.